I don’t consider myself a health foods aficionado (unless the “Stuf” in Double Stuf Oreos is good for you), but we have been trying to make some better choices at my house. Specifically, we’re trying to find simpler ingredients. Margarine is out, butter is in. Give me sugar over high fructose corn syrup.

The same goes to proteins. We’ll pick up all-natural beef or chicken if we can help it. The price points are a limiting factor (Whole Foods is known as Whole Paycheck in our house), but if I can get something raised without hormones or antibiotics, I’ll do it, whether it means picking up the more expensive kind of ground beef at the grocery store or buying pork from the local farmers’ market.

I don’t believe that hormones and antibiotics in our meat supply are causing super-viruses or bringing about early puberty in girls. I can’t even pick out that much of a taste difference between a conventional steak and a grass-fed steak. To me, it’s just the good feeling that comes with providing my family with something that’s “wholesome.”

That good feeling that consumers get when they buy a certain type of food cannot be discounted. Feeding a family isn’t about scientific data, it’s largely about feeling. More companies should make an effort to make consumers feel good when they buy their food. Offer a natural version of your conventional product, or put a healthy and delicious recipe on the package. Give people an emotional reason to buy your product as well as a practical (i.e. price) reason, and you’ll have a loyal customer.

Timely information

Thanks to the Internet, there is an unprecedented wealth of information that’s available to you at any given moment. The downside is that that information is often spread out on a dozen different Web sites.

To that end, we are continuing to make our Web site, www.provisioneronline.com, as much of a one-stop shop for information as possible. We have partnered with Urner Barry, the renowned market news reporting service, to add a couple of new features on the site.

The first is a Daily Price Points ticker, updated each weekday morning. The ticker at the top of our page provides the latest market prices for pork, poultry, beef, eggs and several types of seafood. Second is a daily Market Video, which gives a rundown of industry and market news in a short, concise video update.

Check out www.provisioneronline.com if you haven’t already seen the additions. We hope you find them useful.