Monday, April 8, 2013

New Mode of Thinking

For the last year I've become more and more disappointed in the quality of the produce at one of our local grocery stores. I used to specifically go there for groceries as they always had a wide selection of produce and it was always a good quality. I didn't care it might cost a few cents or a dollar more than the store right next to our house because I new I was getting good produce.

However, in the last year I've been finding molded berries (all kinds), end of life almost rotten onions, sad looking squash and just the other day a molded orange. I used to point out to customer service when I found bad produce thinking it would help... but it hasn't... and I've stopped.

This winter I started thinking about checking out the Farmer's Markets in the area so I knew I was getting fresh produce not "going to rot the next day" produce. Of course, ideas like this tend to sit with me a for a while until I do them. For one thing, it was winter when I started this thought process and secondly.... I'd have to get my ass up and out the door to the market rather than to the store right around the corner when I felt like it. I'm lazy like that when it comes to grocery shopping.

Last month I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I had it saved on my "to read" list from when I wanted to read 30 biographies, autobiographies or memoirs before turning 30 (that NEVER happened). I kept putting it off because who wants to read about growing food??? Well, at least that's what I thought.

As soon as I started reading the book I thought, "OMG why didn't I read this sooner!?!" She spoke about the amount of money/oil/time that it takes to get produce shipped from places where its in season on one side of our country (or out of country) to the other side where its not in season or can't be grown period. She touched on how local farmers work hard to provide produce to communities when grocery stores are shipping it in from far away. She touched on many other topics such as dairy products, free range animals and getting to know your farmers in your area and what they provide to the community.

In her story, her family lived a year on only locally grown food. The food came from their garden or the local farms around them. While that sounded super for them, for me.... if I want an avocado or banana... then gosh darn-it I'm gonna have it! I also don't see myself out in my back yard digging up dirt to plant a garden. I don't like getting dirty, sweaty or have the attention span (at this point) to keep up with a garden.... I can barely keep my blog alive. But I guess I never thought of the fact that my produce was being shipped from California/Mexico to Maryland. Um.... no wonder its on its last leg before it gets to my house! I've never spent so much time looking at where my food is coming from since reading this book.

The book did reinforce my desire to get to the farmers market when they opened this spring. I'll buy it from the market before I buy it from the store if it is in season and I can get it local. I started looking up our county's farmer's market and TA DA it opened up in just two weeks. I was excited. Really.... like really excited. Nerdy maybe? Who knows. What I did know was I'd be looking forward to freshness in the fridge.

2 comments:

  1. This book was life changing for us. It was the catilyst that propelled us into eating locally! You should also read "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'll add it to the "to read" list!!

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