Smart Holiday Food Shopping 101

Find out what to look for in a label

Smart Holiday Food Shopping 101

During the holidays, family and friends pause to reconnect, embrace tradition, and eat, eat, EAT! While visions of succulent glazed hams and delicious sweet pies dance through our heads, oftentimes budget constraints tempt us to compromise food quality and nutrition. By knowing what labels to look for and what ingredients to avoid, selecting the choicest ingredients to help you serve the best holiday meal will be a cinch! 

In fact, the benefit of shopping in a store like Whole Foods Market is that they do the homework for you by refusing to carry products with harmful artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives to bring you the absolute best-quality food products.


Rib Roast


The best-tasting meat comes from animals that were raised the way that nature intended. Consider how the animal was raised before you buy it — all of the beef sold in Whole Foods Market’s meat cases comes from farms that meet the Global Animal Partnership’s Five-Step Animal Welfare standards. You can enjoy your food more, knowing the animals were raised with care.


Spiral cut hams



Avoid potentially harmful additives like synthetic nitrates and nitrites, growth hormones, and antibiotics typically found in supermarket brand hams. 




Key words like "cage-free," "vegetarian fed," and "no antibiotics" are all things you should look out for on the carton.


In fact, Whole Foods Market only sells eggs that meet all three criteria and also offers organic eggs at a very competitive price point. We’ve found that other grocery retailers can sell organic eggs at nearly double the prices.




Opt for REAL butter, not margarine (which has hydrogenated oils or trans fats). Choose dairy products from farmers who pledge not to treat their cows with synthetic bovine growth hormones and/or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBGH/rBST).  




Be careful of sneaky artificial colors and flavors found in most conventional marshmallows.  Make sure your marshmallows don’t contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, preservatives, coloring, or sweeteners.




Check the ingredients for hydrogenated oils, which are often laced in the piecrust.  Look for pie filling made with organic fruits and ingredients without with artificial preservatives. 


Look for more socially responsible products like Whole Trade® and Fair Trade coffee, and know that the value of your dollar goes further when it supports fair wages and better working conditions for farm workers, equitable trade and sound growing practices.