I take a look here at options to find food products when following a Paleo lifestyle. The supermarket is the easy go-to option but there are other places to add to your list where you can - offline and online. I've done the hard work so you don't have to!
The answer is, in its simplest form, is yes (pretty much). Four years ago when embarking on my Paleo journey, it wasn't always the case but a lot of the Paleo-specific foods have now crept onto the supermarket shelves (think coconut oil, a darling in supermarkets these days, but trust me when I say you wouldn't have seen it anywhere 4 years ago!).
That said, bear the following in mind:
Fruit & Veg
Fruit & vegetables in supermarkets are usually always mass produced which might lead you to question whether the soil quality they are grown in is as good as you'd ideally like. Make sure you check where the fruit & vegetables are grown, quite often they are out of season in the UK so are either grown on the other side of the world or are grown in industrial-size greenhouse in the UK (not feeling quite so natural).
If you can find a good greengrocer, local market stall, farm shop or sign up to a veg box scheme, you are more likely to find fruit and veg grown locally, in smaller batches with hopefully better soil quality. What you buy then becomes naturally more seasonal (and cheaper).
If the supermarket is your only viable option (as it is for many, including myself more often than not), go organic where money allows - especially for the so-called ‘dirty dozen' fruit and veg
Do you think the chickens and steaks you buy at the supermarket come from animals that roam freely across the land 12 months a year? Probably not (there are exceptions so as always, do your homework). The majority will be from mass-reared (and grain fed) animals – think about it, you strip grain out of your diet but still eat from animals reared on gran – doesn't quite sit right, does it?
If you're buying from the supermarket, again look for free-range and organic where budget allows (but don't assume that they have roamed freely 12 month of the year or have been grass-fed – again ask questions and do your homework).
Ideally, make friends with your local butcher (one that sources meat from grass-fed animals where possible) and ask questions about how animals are reared. You'll also be able to get hold of cuts of meat you don't normally see in the supermarket which are more cost effective (such as flank steak, different kinds of liver, pigs cheeks). If budget is the issue, buy less quantity of the meat but the best quality you can buy – your body will thank you for it.
So, you've gone Paleo and you want to get hold of items (such as Paleo granola, clean protein bars, coconut aminos, cacao nibs, hemp protein powder, avocado oil) not always seen on the supermarket shelves. You won't find them on the supermarket shelves because they are often small producers who can't produce in the volumes needed to meet supermarket demands – what do you do?
Here's my top 5 places to track down what you need online:
Until recently known as Perfectly Paleo, this was the first online retailer I found dedicated to sourcing Paleo, vegan, organic and free-from products.
It's a cracking site and to give you a flavour of what they stock, their online shop categories include: baking ingredients, breakfast cereals & granola, cacao & chocolate, coconut products, crispbreads & crackers, drinks, healthy snacks, nut butter & spreads, vinegars & sauces and wholefood staples – comprehensive is the word you're looking for.
The benefits of somewhere like The Gathered Goods Co is that you'll get more variety in the brands you can choose from - whilst some Paleo brands are making it into the supermarkets, it's always one at a time so there's no choice (and I like choice). They support a lot of small producers also, often hand-making products so you just know you're getting something super clean.
They offer 10% off your first order when you sign up to their newsletter.
It's the UK's largest Paleo directory website - there's nearly 400 Paleo and Clean living UK businesses on it so far (and growing quickly), including the following food-related categories:
Yes I know it's a plug (I'm allowed one, right?) - the reason this website exists is to help you find what you're looking for – when I started my Paleo journey it took *a lot* of googling and we just don't have time for that, so I've taken the hard work away. All the businesses are either Paleo (or have ranges of products that are) or fit within the Paleo Lifestyle ethos.
So show ‘em some love and start ordering direct from businesses that make living your life a heck of a lot cleaner and healthier.
You can't escape Amazon's product range now for those ‘hard to source' products, they really do seem to have everything. I often source my most random purchases from here!
A long standing online company providing a vast array of wholefoods, many of which fall under the Paleo banner. My usual go-to source for Paleo flours amongst other things.
Probably the go-to online supermarket for most Paleo & free-from aficionados. Ocado was established in the UK over 15 years ago (as the delivery arm of Waitrose originally before becoming standalone) - arguably they have the largest range of paleo and feree-from food and health items. They also give you £20 off your first shop!
I hope this guide has helped you on your way to finding lots of Paleo goodies. If there's anywhere else online (or offline) that you use, please let me know or better still, add them to the directory! :-)