I am currently struggling with the problem of having amazing produce all around me all day long, offered at a great rate, BUT most of it is not from the area or even within the US. I have tried to keep a relatively seasonal diet over the past year minus my daily banana. This means I do not buy any other tropical fruits, berries, or tomatoes unless it is the summer, and I eat a lot of kale and squash in the winter. Now I am not perfect and I do on occasion have some foods out of season, especially when I order a salad out and it is made of baby greens and contains tomatoes. No one is perfect but just think about how amazing a summer tomato tastes warmed in the sun’s rays vs. a hot house tomato flown in from Mexico. There is no comparison. Not to mention the amount of fossil fuel used to fly the tomato to me and the conditions the pickers have to deal with.
Getting back to my issues…we carry the mother load of delicious all organic produce and it is very hard to say no to the strawberries, peppers, and raspberries. I try and stay away from them as much as possible but some are just so hard to pass up. We just need to get the local crops in ASAP and my garden needs to start producing!
What would you do?
I said I was going to post my groceries every week and talk about the distances they have traveled, whether they are organic and if they are seasonal. Well, I failed miserably with this, but I remembered this week!
I usually go to the store with a list but sometimes I forget it or other things get in my cart anyway.
So what went in the cart this week?
- Organic Kale – USA
- Organic carrots – Cali
- Organic broccoli – USA
- Baby bella – PA
- bananas – costa rica
- organic turnip – USA
- Organic apples –USA
- Organic oranges –USA
- Food for Life english muffins
- organic chicken broth, low sodium – the reason I get chicken over veggie is that WF does not have a low sodium veggie (I should compare!)
- Tellegio cheese – ummm Italy, whoops
- Blue Cheese – USA
- Organic Spinach –MA
- CA currants aka small raisins – CA
- turkish apricots – Turkey?
- Organic acorn squash – not sure
- Organic chick peas
- organic stewed tomatoes
All of this was $54 and if you add that to the $15 from Springfield farm That is $69 for the week. I rarely buy food out and if I do it is usually with Nick and we are at Einstein (which has soy in every single one of its bagels btw). I know I eat mainly organic, but I think $69 for a weeks worth of food for one + 1/4 person is pretty darn good. I never spend over $100 .
How much do you spend in a week on food? What is your biggest driver in your food selection? Price? Flavor? Packaging? Organic vs. Conventional? I am curious what you think!
I have been trying to figure out what direction I want to take this little blog. I am still off the running wagon, but I did go to the Doc today and we are going to try some orthotics and eventually work up to running. Until then I will be biking (I am getting really good and creating my own spin class), swimming and strength training (I went to BodyPump last week and it kicked my butt).
Until I can run again I thought I would zero in on a food mission I have been working on.
Buying Local/ Sustainable/ Organic/ Humane
I tried this today with my Whole Food haul and it was really hard! I do go to the Farmer’s market every week, but that is ending next week and the labels in WF only say “USA”. This makes it really hard figure out how far my food has traveled.
Here are some of my personal rules:
- There are exceptions one being bananas
- Fruit is going to be hard so this will most likely be seasonal – I have some apples left from the fall and peaches from the summer, but I will probably eat citrus (US only!) and some pears.
- No berries, grapes, tomatoes and summer squash in the winter –they just don’t taste as good
- Get my eggs and milk locally – this one is actually easy
- Switch to local cheese – we have some great cheese makers in MD
- Eat lots of mushrooms! – being so close to PA, we have tons of them within an hour drive
- No foreign products except maybe soy sauce and other Asian condiments
- Read labels
- Try to buy things without labels
The reason I am trying to buy only US products is because even though the FDA has its problems we have much more food protection that South American or African mega producers.
- Local #1
So how did I do today? Honestly, pretty bad in terms of local.
- Kombucha – CO, organic
- Chicken – organic, humane
- Mushrooms – local
- Pitas – local
- Satsuma – USA
- Yams – organic, USA
- Green beans – USA
- Milk – local, organic
- Yogurt – Organic
- Chicken broth – organic
- Parsnips – USA, organic
- Quinoa – organic (bulk)
- Spinach – organic – questionable company
- Peas – organic
- Chocolate chunks – nada
- Mustard – ?
- Bananas – fair trade
I stood in front of the meat case for about 20min reading the Welfare guide and noticing the chicken was the only thing labeled and it had a pretty low rate . Not the one I got, but the normal WF chicken got a 2 out of 5. Slightly disturbing.
If you are wondering where my protein is in the above pictures besides of the chicken, I have lots of beans, tempeh, salmon and lentils.
What do you think? I think it will be hard, but I will try and post a similar list every week.
Time to pick up Nick from the bus! He is late again…
Local vs. Organic seems to be a very hot topic right now.
I know that when I walk into the grocery store (I shop at Whole Foods and don’t feel bad about it. I never spend more than $100 a week for two people) I am faced with the issue of local food or organic. More often than not the local produce is not organic and the organic food are from California or South America. What is a girl to do???
This is my take: Organic food from all over the world uses a ton of resources getting to your plate. Local foods can have pesticides and can have a high amount of fertilizers in their soils.
When it comes to the farmers market, I eat everything. The only fruit vender at the market is not organic, but I can see who is growing the food and I can talk to them about their practices. When it comes to greens and other veggies I tend to go to the organic vendors because the price is either the same or maybe a quarter more than the conventional. The meat vendor is also not certified organic but I TALK to the famers and they do not use hormones, preservatives or antibiotics on their cow. The reason they are not organic is to save the consumer $$$ on their products. I got their ground sirloin for $4.25/lb. For me that is 4 burgers, which I think it is good deal.
When I deal with the grocery store I try and buy the dirty dozen organic and all other items conventional. This being said, if there are peaches that are organic at Whole Foods but they are from California, and conventional peaches at the farmers market, I am going with the market ones.
A good ways to save money whether you are buying for organic or local is to buy IN SEASON. Strawberries are no longer in season people. It is pear and apple season. How many varieties can you try this fall? I am on apple variety number 4 and I am planning on going apple picking in a few weeks (yet another cost saving practice).
It all comes down to a judgment call.
How do you decide?