mama jess 2013 expo west re-cap and how to grocery shop like a food scientist!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in blog


We are back from Natural Products Expo West – the largest healthy food show in the country, record breaking 63,000 attendees! We were pleased to celebrate our 2nd Anniversary there and see so many of our fans. What a great way to get re-inspired!  THE BIGGEST show news, was no doubt, Whole Food Market’s announcement that all products in their stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain GMOs by 2018. What an exciting step as we support the right to know what’s in our food –and course, Mama Jess already only uses non-GMO ingredients. We will blog more about this exciting announcement in the future.


In years past, I have already recorded some of my favorite finds from Expo West with you. I have a couple to pass on this year but many are still the same, so for the sake of being too repetitive check out my past favorites here:


I wanted to focus more on what you should look for when you see a new food on your store shelves. Being a researcher by trade, I ask a lot of questions because I don’t want to be fooled or deceived by marketing. Here are a few questions I always start with asking:


1.     Is this product filling a need I have or is this just an interesting flavor or idea I want to try? In other words, by adding this to my diet, am I just adding extra calories? Or is this product helping me eat smarter? Maybe this product is just an occasional purchase for me (like when I travel, I eat more fruit & nut bars than I do when I’m home all week cooking fresh foods in my kitchen)

 2.     Read the ingredient statement. Do the ingredients align to how I eat? Is it clean? Are there any added sugars? Any sneaky ingredients? Chemicals, preservatives or questionable ingredients?

 3.     Look at the Nutrition Facts – sure a product may be marketed as healthy or even sold in my favorite health food store, but does that make it healthy? Not always. Be a detective and make sure you aren’t surprised with fats (bad fats), sugars, calories, etc.

 4.     Claims. Do I need the claims that this product touts? Do I need something high in protein? Or am I already eating an adequate amount in my diet?



Ok – onto a couple items from Expo West 2013 that have passed my questions and I am anxious to see on store shelves:



To a foodie, grocery shopping is an adventure not a chore. Try to find some fun it in and be proud of the choices you can make to improve your families nutrition!

My cart is full of veggies,

Mama Jess