As we navigate the aisles of food and drink options, it's not always natural to wonder if we're making the best selections. Sometimes it is easier not to be too critical. In this exploration, you will learn to ask the right questions, to uncover the mysteries behind your favorite products. To become a more empowered and knowledgeable shopper.


Ask questions of the food and drink you buy 

We all know it's a good idea to ask questions about the food and drinks we buy. Whether it's regular products or stuff to eat and drink, it's wise to be careful.

Sometimes, companies tell us a lot of things to make us buy their products. They use tricks to make us believe we need what they're selling. But we should ask questions. Not negative ones, just curious ones. We should ask to learn more and make good choices.

The two socratic questions in action

The easiest way to learn more is by asking the two Socratic questions: "What does this mean?" and "Is it true?" These questions are helpful when you're buying food or drinks.

For example, let's talk about olive oil. When you see "extra virgin" on the label, what does it mean? What does olive oil need to be called "extra virgin"? Is the olive oil in your hands really "extra virgin"?

Of course, you can then go on to ask, Questions like: Who says it's "extra virgin"? Do all olive oil makers say the same thing? What if the label doesn't say anything? Does that mean it's not "extra virgin"?

Categories and examples of critical questions about what you eat or drink

There are many kinds of questions you can ask about the things you buy. Here are some examples:

  • Where It Comes From: Find out where the things in your food and drinks come from. For example, where do the chickens in Chicken McNuggets come from? Where do you find the forest where all those forest fruits come from? Which monastery does the monastery bread, monastery wine, monastery cheese, ... come from?

  • What's Inside: Understand what's in the products you buy. For instance, what's in fish food? What is all the water doing in our ham? Exactly what sausage is in the ready-to-eat kale (given how many ingredients seem to be in it)? What exactly do you put on your face when you use a clay mask? What is a doner kebab and what animal is it made from?

  • Claims by Makers: Check what the companies say about their products. When can they call something "fresh"? What is artisanal about artisanal? How fresh can asparagus still be if it comes all the way from Peru? How exactly is the tender, juicy duck selected from the not tender, juicy duck?

  • Labels and Logos: Look at the pictures and words on the packages. If a can of tuna says it's "dolphin-friendly," what does that really mean? In what way is a logo with three stars different from two stars (what makes for example the animal's life better)?

  • Differences: Why do some things cost more than others? For example, why are some brown beans more expensive? What is the difference between bottled water and tap water? Why are chopped onions so much more expensive than whole onions? How is it possible that a bag of raisins is much cheaper than a bunch of fresh grapes?

  • Healthy Choices: Is something good or bad for you? How bad is a certain flavor enhancer? Is it better to cook with oil or fat? Which mattress is best to sleep on?

  • Explaining Things: How do they do it? How do they make some things so cheap? Why is there sugar in everything? Why do some lemons shine? Why is vanilla custard yellow while vanilla pods are brown?

Ask how-questions!

Asking "how" questions is a great way to get more information. If you ask these questions, people are more likely to feel compelled to answer them. It's a good way to learn more about what you're buying.

Remember to be polite and friendly when you ask questions. Start with a compliment! Being nice can help you get better answers.

If you have another good question to ask, share these with us on social media. We can learn together! And our readers will appreciate it.