Every Tuesday is like Christmas morning. Tuesday evenings we drive down to pick up our CSA box. What the heck is a CSA? Check out this link and find your own while you're at it. We paid a lump sum of money to Jill and Sean at Blue Gate Farm to buy a farm share, and they give us yummy organic goodness each week to eat. The photo above is this week's take (minus the fruit in the bowls). There is NOTHING like food that was just harvested. If you've never experienced "just picked" green beans, you're so missing out.
I also shop at New City Market, a small (and I mean SMALL) market just a mile from my house. I love it there. They know me. They talk to me. The listen to me. And they care about the issues. This week, I was shopping and noticed that they were putting out a new brand of tofu to replace the White Wave tofu. I told them that I was happy they were doing that because White Wave is owned by a big nasty corporation and I would rather support small farmers/producers. They "get it".
I LOVE grocery shopping. I try really hard to buy everything on my list at New City, but I ended up going to Hy-Vee to get a few extra things. Of course, whenever I go to Hy-Vee, I remember why I love New City so much. Here is a little comparison:
*Cute and quaint
*Great relaxing music playing
*Friendly and knowledgeable staff
*Awesome bulk section
*Huge, bright, and loud
*I don't remember if there was music, I was too busy being annoyed by the huge bright loudness.
*My checker had lost her voice, and sounded like something out of Nightmare on Elm Street. I couldn't make out a word she said.
*I feel like the only one there who knows that white bread is bad for you.
New City just has "my kind of people"...and Hy-Vee does not (most of the time). I have a really bad habit of looking down the checkout aisles as I leave and thinking to myself...."oh my goodness, they aren't really going to EAT THAT are they?!" I feel a deep need to grab them and tell them about genetically modified food, partially hydrogenated oils, dangers of pesticides....ack!! So in order to prevent myself from judging others...I should just stay at New City.
The Farmer's Market is possibly my favorite activity of the summer months. I don't buy a lot of food there (especially now that we have the CSA share)...but I just love going and talking to the growers and finding out who is truly not using chemicals, etc. I have a new favorite...Blue Gate has a booth there and they have this AMAZING herbed lemonaide. I am craving it right now. I usually buy some cucumbers, tomatoes, and flowers. Other than that, it's mostly just people (and dog) watching and music listening.
If I can't find something organic, I buy local, if I can't buy local, I buy the closest to home that I can. Why? There is a great blog about a couple who only bought food that was produced within a 100 mile radius of their home. Check it out. I'm certainly not perfect in this area, but I'm working at it.
Just be MINDFUL and deliberate about your food purchases. That's what matters. Check out my other blog for more thoughts on buying local.