Find Real Food: The Ultimate Healthy Food Grocery Shopping Guide

Many years ago, a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation named David Morris, came to us with the idea of a shopping guide, which would only list foods that met our Wise Traditions guidelines. He even went out and found the funding for us to print the first issue—that was in 2003.

Since then the guide has grown and grown.  As an example, look at the increase in number of products for the following categories:

2003 2017
Coconut products 0 84
Bone broth & soups 0 30
Lacto-fermented foods 7 51
Lacto-fermented drinks 11 59
Healthy condiments 8 82
Nuts 0 118
Healthy fats & oils 7 250
Natural sweeteners 9 203

Not only do consumers now have many choices for healthy foods, but also, most of these foods are produced by small, independent artisans and pasture-based farms. This is exactly the kind of food culture that we envisage for the future, all over the world.  The other good thing is that no company can pay us to have their food in the guide—the only reason the foods are there is because they meet our guidelines.

As an advocate for nutrient dense, healthy, traditionally prepared, real foods for many years now, I know  how challenging it can be to make the right food choices.

While at the grocery store, with so many brands to choose from and tricky labels that hide harmful ingredients, it can be very hard to know what to buy.

Additionally, some of the most prized foods that make part of a traditional diet, such as bone broths, may be hard to find regardless of where you live.

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Using the Foundation’s stringent food selection criteria, we located foods and brands which could be shipped nationally and listed them by food category. In this way, people everywhere in the US could quickly find and order specific high quality foods without having to do lots of research on ingredients or farming practices.

Each year, the Annual Shopping guide has been updated and expanded, and it continues to be an extremely valuable resource for those seeking to improve the quality of foods they consume.

RealFoodAppHowever, in this age of smartphones and apps, it was time to give it a digital overhaul… (along with its iPhone and Android apps), brings the WAPF Shopping Guide to your phone. Another good thing: unlike most apps, this one also works on your computer, which is great news for people like myself, who don’t use iphones.

Additionally, without the physical constraints of a paper booklet, the digital guide was able to expand the number of brands and products, and do things only apps and computers can do, such as finding food sources nearby.

For reference, all the foods listed in the app meet the same rigorous criteria as the paper Shopping Guide.

Specific criteria vary by food category, but some examples are biodynamic or organic; no artificial colors or flavors; no high fructose corn syrup; grass-fed, pasture-raised or wild caught; raw; cultured/fermented; soaked/sprouted.

After having used the paper guide for many years, I was very pleased to see some of the new features Find Real Food app can do. For example, wherever you are, or wherever you are going, the map shows you where you can find healthy food choices.

Find Real Food website main page
Find Real Food website main page

It also helps make it easier to solve the two main issues around healthy food shopping: knowing what to buy while at your local stores, and finding hard to find products to be shipped to you.

While at traditional grocery stores, it lists only the products that have met the food criteria of the Foundation. When in doubt, you can also search by brand name to see if it is listed, or review the food selection criteria to compare vs. the label.

For harder to find foods (raw sauerkraut, anyone?), I really like the search functionality which helps me zero in on what I am looking for. It is also helpful to see ratings and reviews by other users. Finding and purchasing foods is easy with the 1-click-links which allow you to quickly visit the brand’s website or dial their phone number.

For anyone looking to facilitate their transition into a traditional food diet, it is an indispensable guide that will make it so much easier to start eating healthier. Even for those that are more experienced with WAPF-approved foods, it may help discover new brands that may not necessarily be available nearby, through the active search and helpful reviews by other knowledgeable consumers.

For tips on how to get the most out of FindRealFood app, stay tuned to my next blog.

The Weston A. Price Foundation provides many services in addition to the FindRealFood app.  Consider becoming a member to support the work we do.

2 thoughts on “Find Real Food: The Ultimate Healthy Food Grocery Shopping Guide”

  1. Is there still a paper version available, for ppl like myself who prefer the paper at the store? I dont have a smartphn either.

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