The philosophy of the paleo diet is to eat fresh, whole foods the way nature intended. Living paleo is about living naturally, and so where we can't produce food ourselves we rely on farmers and producers to provide it for us.
Our lifestyle has changed significantly since the Paleolithic era. Days are spent working in offices, socialising with friends and family, studying, travelling and so much more. We simply don't have the time and space to produce our own food, and sometimes sourcing all the right ingredients can be time-consuming too.
The key is to plan well and choose wisely.
How To Hunt & Gather
Although we can no longer hunt and gather in the traditional sense, we can still hunt and gather by sourcing from producers and sellers who care about providing the highest quality foods without compromising on ensuring ethical, sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices.
In a place as big as Sydney, we are very fortunate to have some great options available.
Back in Paleolithic times, every part of an animal was consumed. Some of the most tender and flavoursome parts are the lesser-known and less popular cuts, including beef brisket (great for slow cooking) and beef heart (one of the most nutrient dense cuts of meat). These cuts of meat are often cheaper to buy, so next time you visit your butcher ask them about different meat cuts available and try something new.
It's also worth considering where the meat comes from and how it is produced. The way animals live, what they eat and how they are treated all contribute to the quality of the meat and how much it is enjoyed as part of a meal.
Where to shop paleo
GRUB (Grass Roots Urban Butchery) is a locally owned butcher that cares about providing the best quality meat from animals that have lived the best life possible. They source only from farmers who follow leading production practices with regards to ethics, sustainability and reducing the impact on our environment. All beef is grass-fed, pork is organic and poultry is free-range. As well as the shopfront, GRUB home deliver all over Sydney and beyond, which makes it a very convenient offering for busy folk.
High in protein, vitamins and minerals, seafood is an important part of the Paleo diet. In Australia we have some of the best fresh seafood available in the world. Fishing is probably the easiest and most popular 'hunting' activity we have access to. But if you can't go fishing yourself, there's also a large number of sellers who provide fresh, sustainable fish and seafood.
Where to shop paleo
Sydney is home to the world's second largest seafood market of its kind—the Sydney Fish Market. It supplies fresh seafood to the public as well as to many restaurants across Sydney and beyond. Not only is it the best place to source a wide variety of fresh seafood, it's also a fantastic place to visit. The lively atmosphere draws a crowd and it's a great place to enjoy a freshly cooked seafood platter.
Not all eggs are what they're cracked up to be! There's a big difference between good and bad when it comes to the production of eggs in Australia. Good eggs are free range and often organic, and although they can be considerably more expensive, it pays to know the difference.
Where to shop paleo
The best places to buy free-range eggs are at your local market or local health food store. One of the best to buy is Holbrook Paddock Eggs from the NSW Southern Highlands. They are the real deal—as well as being 100% free range, the chickens have bespoke mobile homes that can move from paddock to paddock. They are never locked in and they're guarded by two beautiful Maremma guard dogs.
Other great farms include Popes Free Range (from Goulburn and supplying to Sydney, Canberra and the South Coast), Clarendon Farms Organic Free Range (from Pitt Town NSW) and Portland Free Range (available from the Bondi Junction Village Markets). There are many more great free-range eggs available and more information is available here.
Local organic markets are the best place to source fresh, seasonal and locally grown produce. The number of organic markets in Sydney is steadily increasing and it's now easier and more affordable to buy organic.
There are loads of places to source pantry staples such as oils, grain-free flowers, nuts and seeds. Because these items don't need refrigeration, one of the best ways to source pantry items is to buy online. It's a convenient way to source products, and you can buy in larger quantities, which generally makes it cheaper than buying in-store.
Paleo Foodies is a Sydney-based business specialising in introducing people to the paleo lifestyle while enjoying great food. It offers paleo shopping tours all over Sydney where you will hear directly from producers, learn about food production in the local area and the best places to buy. You'll also receive shopping lists and some great recipes to get you started. Shopping tours run on Saturdays in the Eastern Suburbs and inner-city areas. For more information about the paleo shopping tours or to book, email or visit Paleo Foodies Shopping Tours.
Image credit: Food O Grafia