Monday, January 17, 2011

Grain Prices are going up and grocery store healthy eating suggestions go down

A healthy salad of "Mock Tuna Fish" (Garbanzo Beans), with lettuce, tomato and whole-grain crackers.

So, I’ve been thinking of more healthy eating around here in the Prairie Farmhouse and noticing that I get frustrated at a certain grocery store’s ad every week.  They promote “healthy” eating and while they do have organic foods in their ads, at least 50% (if not more) of the sale items are not just processed foods but JUNK foods.  Candy, soda, chips, sugared cereals, desserts. 

One of their “healthy dinner” ideas was tuna noodle casserole and some veggie.  Ok, I’ll grant you that was healthy, but really... what child these days willingly eats Tuna & Noodles??  And with tuna being offered there for $1 for one can.... Sheesh!  That seemed rather expensive. 
Deli roasted whole chickens go on sale for $4.99.  You could use the one-two cups in a noodle casserole, still have plenty of meat for sandwiches or tacos or another casserole and the bones for soup/stock.  The classic “Rubber Chicken” (it stretches and stretches for several meals.)  $5 of tuna would give you, just tuna.  Tuna sandwiches  and tuna-noodles and what else??  I personally can’t think of too many dishes I’d make with tuna (at least ones that Farmer-dear would actually eat!)

I shouldn’t complain, because I’m thankful my favorite grocery stores do have sales on “ingredients” from time to time. Especially right before the holidays.  I try to stock up on baking ingredients, herbs & spices, canned goods.   With a full pantry, our good home-raised beef, the local pork and organic chickens we buy from the producers, I am able to keep our grocery list smaller and look for those items found around the exterior aisles of the store.  The produce, dairy and loss leaders.

Dairy items that have been on sale lately:  yogurt and cheese.
Some better prices in produce:  citrus and potatoes

Another suggestion for you, dear Puffins... consider stocking up on Flour, Sugar, Cornmeal, Dry Cereals.  You may have not noticed but the grain commodity prices have been extremely high lately!  As farmers/grain producers, we are not complaining, but as consumers I wonder what the fallout from $13 beans, $6 corn and $7 wheat will be?! 

I have my 2 unopened 60# bags of milling wheat here, but I need to stock up on unbleached white flour for cookies.  I’m not sure of my oatmeal or cornmeal (which I could mill from popcorn) and I haven’t kept track of rice prices but that is another item I should keep in bulk.  I also wonder with grain being so high, will this cause meat and dairy prices to go up?  Grain is livestock feed too.
My Whisper Mill and white winter wheat berries for milling.

I don’t mean to cause panic, but it is food for thought and something you may want to discuss as a family.

Now that the busy time of the holidays is waning for me again, I need to get back into baking our bread and cooking more from scratch.  We’ve weeded out most of the processed foods from the house (well, Farmer will have a few “treats” around...) and he’s been very good about trying some new recipes that he was sure he wouldn’t like.  “Dirty Rice” was tolerable, but “Healthy Oven-Fried Chicken” was a hit. 

Healthy foods- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almonds, Hard Cheese, Herbs and Garlic...also known as Pesto!

And in the interest of our health, we’ve been eating at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  A Vit D supplement, plenty of filtered water and new this year, 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  We can’t stop the aging process, but we can do all we can to maintain our health.

What are you doing in the healthy cooking, eating or maintaining health areas of your life?  I’d love to know.



  1. We grow organic wheat, white and hard red, I had some milled last summer-unbleached, whole wheat and graham, so I try to bake as much bread as I can. I try to drink lots of water and we are trying to eat more veggies and fruit.
    I notice too that a lot of the sale items are convenience type foods and junk foods, too bad.
    I was buying groceries the other day and thinking how blessed my family is: we raise our own broilers, eggs, beef and buy a pig each summer at the 4-H fair, we have our own wheat to grind, many people don't have the advantage we do.
    Hubby says those prices for grain won't last forever, but it does make you wonder what will happen, I am glad we still have some of last years wheat to mill.
    thanks for your blog, I may not comment every time I visit, but I do read it.

  2. off topic: You are my incentive reward this morning...I've had a hard time getting busy about the house, so I worked thirty minutes and allowed myself thirty mins blog reading (and foodtv watching) as my reward. About to get busy on the next half hour of work.

    Prices are not so tough here YET but the incredible shrinking packages continues...

    And you are too right. Never a sale on buckwheat or flax seed meal but always on 'vitamin' water, and organic chips...

  3. Don't waste a bit of that rubber chicken. Save the bones and skin and stuff in the botttom of the tray. Cover them (barely)with water bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes and you have great broth to make gravy to go on those noodles. Or throw the stuff in with all the other peelings you've been saving for stock. (I keep a stock pot on my wood stove). I have noticed in our neck of the woods(MO)the same ads which lean towards a larger girth in us. Love your nostalgic look pix on the blog.