Are you trying to source quality traditional foods and supplements? The Food Renegade shopping guide can help!
The companies listed in the categories below are quality vendors that I believe in and purchase from myself. Please know that some of the links are affiliate links which means that if you choose to buy something, I will receive a small commission for the sale which helps support the work of this blog! Thank you!
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Fats & Oils
Butter is my favorite fat, but I go out of my way to ensure it’s from grass-fed cows. If you haven’t already, check out where to find butter from grass-fed cows. During the summer, I stock up on this grassfed butter for maximum nutrition during the winter months. Ghee, also called clarified butter, is the perfect option for those with dairy allergies as all the milk proteins have been removed leaving only the butter oil. Taken as a supplement, raw, grassfed butter oil is a synergistic complement to fermented cod liver oil as recommended by Dr. Weston A. Price for optimal dental health.
Other healthy fats for cooking include grass-fed tallow, pastured lard and duck fat. You can render tallow and lard at home using the fat from bulk purchases of grass-fed beef, lamb, or pastured pork, but I like to save myself the time and buy them online here. I also enjoy this duck fat, too.
Most of the olive oils on the market are cut with cheap vegetable oils, so I am sure to only buy Olea Estates 100% extra virgin olive oil from a reliable source for making homemade salad dressings and low heat cooking. This olive oil is grown on a single family farm in Greece and is hands-down THE BEST tasting olive oil I’ve ever enjoyed.
And finally, when I want a healthy, ancient vegetable oil with a slightly higher smoke point, I turn to sustainably-harvested red palm oil. While most red palm oil on the market is collected in a way that endangers wildlife (like the orangutan), this brand does not.
Fermented Food Starters
Absolutely nothing helps repopulate the gut with healthy, probiotic bacteria better than eating & drinking fermented foods!
I recommend Cultures for Health for all your fermented food starter needs. They carry starter cultures for kombucha, kefir, buttermilk, yogurt, cheeses, and sourdough. They even carry vegetable starter cultures for those who need non-dairy ferments as well as fermenting supplies like crocks and air-locks. Plus, they have a valuable array of free articles, videos, & e-books to help get you started on your fermentation journey.
Flours, Grains & Legumes
While I do believe that grains can be prepared in a healthy, traditional way (via sprouting or fermenting), I almost always work with grain-free flours for the few treats my family enjoys.
Grain Free Flours: I use arrowroot flour in place of corn starch as a grain free thickener for sauces, gravies, and stews. Almost all the grain-free recipes on this site call for either coconut flour or almond flour.
Sprouted Grains: If you don’t have alternative recipes, but simply want to adapt your old family favorites, sprouted flour is an ideal substitute for all purpose flour in cookies and quick breads. I used to have to sprout all my grain myself, but thankfully, sprouted grain and sprouted grain flours can be purchased online eliminating the need for this time intensive process.
Oats and Other Grains: I occasionally enjoy soaking oats overnight in an acidic medium to make porridge or pancakes. When I do, I start with these steel cut oats. Other grains I use for cooking and baking include spelt, quinoa, and organic jasmine rice. These organic grains make fabulous side dishes or additions to soups. I do not buy grains from bulk bins as grains tend to go rancid quite easily. Best to buy in sealed packages or buckets.
Legumes: Hands down, the legume I cook with most is lentils. I also buy sprouted lentils to avoid soaking them prior to cooking. Whether it’s for a Lebanese dish like Mujaddara or an old-time classic like Lentil Soup, lentils always please!
Supplements & Superfoods
I believe everyone is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all list of perfect supplements or superfoods for each of us. That said, these are the supplements my family takes on a daily basis:
Krill Oil with Astaxanthan: Unlike some recommended fish oils (like cod liver oil), Krill Oil is actually sustainable. It’s also rich in phospholipid Omega-3’s and naturally non-toxic (no heavy metal worries here!). Find it here.
Raw, Desiccated Liver: Liver is a traditional superfood, and extraordinarily rich in B vitamins, folate and vitamin A. Liver capsules are great for traveling and for those who have trouble consuming liver once or twice a week. Where to find desiccated liver capsules.
Vitamin C: Most vitamin C on the market is synthetically derived as ascorbic acid from GMO corn. Make sure you source only whole food based vitamin C. Here is where I buy mine.
Vitamin K2: Don’t confuse vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. K2 is an essential nutrient that can only be found in animals eating grass or through certain fermented food (like natto, gouda, and brie). While I prefer to get mine from well-sourced food, I also use this natto-derived K2 supplement to cover my bases.
Probiotics: In addition to consuming a wide range of fermented foods, my family and I also consume a therapeutic-grade probiotic to help support ongoing gut health.
Gelatin. Gelatin greatly supports skin and digestive system health. Powdered gelatin is a healthier choice than protein powder and can be added to smoothies for a natural protein boost. It can also be used in soups and desserts or as a thickener for sauces. We use this grass-fed beef gelatin in recipes and this grass-fed beef collagen to stir into hot drinks like tea, coffe, or broth (it dissolves quickly and is utterly tasteless).
Snacks & Convenience Foods
While some of these may contain a compromise ingredient or two, they are all wholesome enough that we rely on them for quick snacks or super-fast meals.
Nuts: These sprouted almonds are a perfect grab-n-go, highly digestible snack.
Pemmican: I adore pemmican made from grass-fed beef, berries, and honey. I buy these Paleo snacks online here.
Jerky: I purchase 3 types of jerky – buffalo jerky, grassfed beef jerky snack sticks, and free range turkey jerky. While there are a number of amazing jerky brands on the market, these are my kid’s favorites (and they’re free of MSG, chemicals and additives).
Chocolate: I prefer chocolate from organic, fair-trade sources that’s GMO-free and soy-free. With that in mind, this is the chocolate bar I use both to snack on and to melt for use in baked goods. I also sometimes want chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks, so I opt for these dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free chocolate chips.
Cookies: While I almost always make cookies at home, these are the ones I happily keep stocked in the pantry for when convenience wins out: this brand has a great line of einkorn cookies and gluten-free cookies, and this brand makes amazingly moist and tasty gluten-free macaroons with coconut and almond flours.
Chips: Most brands of chips (even if organic) are unacceptable because of the inappropriate and unhealthy frying oils involved. With that in mind, I do purchase these potato chips fried in coconut oil and these potato chips made with avocado oil. I also buy these sprouted pretzels and sprouted pretzel puffs. Another option is Sea Snax, a strangely addictive and crunchy chip alternative made with kelp.
Ramen, Soups, & Broth: These organic ramen noodles are baked, not fried, and contain no hidden MSG or nasty additives. I’ve also recently discovered a rather wholesome cream of mushroom soup with few objectionable ingredients. And while homemade broth is ideal, I’ve sometimes resorted to buying grass-fed beef bone marrow stock here just for convenience’s sake.
Raw Honey: I almost always buy my honey raw and from a local beekeeper. If that’s not available for you, raw honey is available online.
Unrefined Cane Sugar: Unrefined cane sugar is a better choice than white sugar because it has not had all the beneficial minerals stripped away. Unrefined cane sugar can be substituted in most recipes 1:1 for white sugar and will add an additional level of complexity to the flavor that is very enjoyable. I purchase it in bulk from a local co-op but if this isn’t an option, unrefined cane sugar is available online.
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is an all natural, mild tasting and low glycemic sweetener produced by dehydrating the nectar produced from coconut buds. It can be used at a 1:1 ratio for regular cane sugar. It can also be used in liquid form as coconut nectar instead of maple syrup.
Salt & Spices
Sea Salt: It is important to use only unrefined sea salt for cooking. I personally favor this U.S. produced unrefined sea salt. They even make an all-natural seasoned salt and garlic salt I thoroughly enjoy.
Nuts, Nut Butters and Seeds
Preparing raw nuts and seeds by briefly soaking in saltwater and then low temperature drying eliminates anti-nutrients that can cause digestive distress and gastrointestinal discomfort. While it’s best to do this at home, sometimes you’ll need a more convenient option. I use these presoaked and dehydrated nuts, nut butters and seeds. For another line of quality soaked nut butters, click here.
Meat & Seafood
Fresh Seafood: For sustainably-caught, unbeatably fresh seafood, I always shop online at I Love Blue Sea. They’re a family-run operation run by some of the sweetest, most honest people I’ve ever met.
Grass-fed Meats & Dairy: While I prefer to buy my grass-fed beef in bulk directly from local ranchers, I know that may not be an option for many. If that’s your case, I highly recommend you do business online with either Tendergrass Farms or U.S. Wellness Meats. Tendergrass sources entirely from small, sustainable, beyond-organic family farms and helps those smaller farmers reach a market that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. U.S. Wellness is a great source for hard to find goodies like grass-fed organ meat sausages & cheeses, and alternative meats like rabbit & lamb. Both online stores are excellent sources for grass-fed beef & bone broth, as well as pastured pork, chickens & turkeys.
Of course, I recommend making most condiments at home yourself. However, if time is an issue, many can be purchased for reasonable cost such as organic ketchup and mustard. For ethnic cooking, I recommend an additive free fish sauce and a traditionally brewed, unpasteurized soy sauce.
For making homemade ketchup, I recommend organic tomato paste in glass jars.
Fermented vegetable juices are delicious and easy to make at home, but it’s great to have a source to buy them when needed.
For working out in the heat or recovery after exercise, my family just loves this brand of coconut water instead of sodas or additive and chemically laced sports drinks which have been shown to damage children’s tooth enamel.
Milk & Cream
Tea & Herbs
I prefer organic teas as these have less fluoride in them, and prefer fair-trade certified teas. With that in mind, these are the teas I prefer.
Deodorant: I believe that one of the most important personal care items you choose is underarm deodorant because of the close proximity to delicate breast and glandular tissue. My family uses Primal Pit Paste. It’s completely nontoxic, comes in a variety of scents and strengths, and it actually works! They also carry body powder (for down under) and a delicious Lavender Orange Body Whip.
Balms & Lotions: I never want to put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t also eat. With that in mind, I adore Coconutter Lip Balm. It’s as good as homemade, and it comes in yummy flavors like Coconut Lime, Purely Peppermint, and Terrifically Tangerine. As for lotions, I’ve had good experiences with this organic coconut/jojoba oil lavender lotion.
Feminine Products: Repeated exposure to commercially produced feminine products can have long-term negative consequences thanks to pesticide and dioxin residues that come into direct contact with very thin reproductive tissues. Safe alternatives include The Keeper, The Diva Cup, or organic cotton pads and tampons.
Oral Care: I recommend this bentonite clay, remineralizing tooth paste.
For drinking water, I depend on my Big Berkey. It sits on my kitchen counter, is made of gorgeous stainless steel, is gravity-fed, has no moving parts that easily break, and even comes with fluoride filters.
If you can’t afford a Berkey, you may want to look into a ZeroWater Pitcher. Although it is not certified for fluoride removal, common sense dictates that it likely does. That’s because fluoride levels in tap water are usually around 2 to 4 ppm, which will show up on the meter as 002 to 004. So when filtered water reads 000 it is not likely that fluoride is present in water.
If you’re looking into whole house filtration systems, I highly recommend consulting the water experts at Radiant Life. They will answer your questions for free and help you make the wisest decision for your family’s needs.
Organic gardening is essential for reducing your pesticide exposure and ensuring you grow the most nutrient-rich produce possible. Here’s a list of organic gardening supplies you may find useful.
I’ve always feed my pets a diet of raw food and bones, but if you’re not quite ready to make that transition, I recommend that in the very least you buy a brand of grain-free, soy-free, corn-free pet foods made from REAL meats that are raised without the use of growth-hormones or antibiotics (like this chicken dog food, beef dog food, turkey cat food, and chicken and salmon cat food. The same company even makes wholesome liver pet treats!