Buying Local

local food - bacon and whipped cream

Where does my food come from?

Have you ever asked yourself this? A few years ago I would grocery shop and pick up whatever was the cheapest thing that look good. I was quite the oblivious shopper (both to ingredient labels & food origin). I carried a feeling of trust between me and my food suppliers that was unfortunately a bit misguided.
 
The more I read about eating whole foods and getting rid of the processed, I heard more about being a “localvore”. A localvore is basically a person who eats as locally as possible.
 
Being a Localvore… Buying produce from local farmers whenever possible, finding local sources for dairy and meat, and trying to get your food from sources as close to you as you can.

But why eat local?

  • Food is fresher:  When you are getting food from other states (or internationally!) the food has to travel a lot further. Which means its less fresh (and doesn’t last as long) by the time it reaches your shopping cart.
  • The quality is better:  I guess this isn’t what you can call a “fact” but honestly, the produce and meat I’ve gotten locally has been far superior in taste to products shipped in.
  • The food is safer:  We buy as much local meat as we can. We have gotten fantastic meat at great prices. It not only tastes better than mass produced/manufactured meat, but it is also from a local source where the animals are treated well, fed well, and free of antibiotics, hormones, and etc.
  • You support your community:  By buying local you are supporting your local farmers and neighbors, which helps your local economy and community.
Obviously not everything is going to be available locally. For instance, buying grapes in WI in the winter is not going to be a local thing! But instead I choose to buy them from California growers instead of from Chile. I have also personally decided that Chinese produce is not going to be allowed in my home.
 
I have not noticed a huge price difference in most of my local buying. Sometimes things are a little more but other times the prices are better! But while food costs are important to keep in mind, remember that the health of you and your family is even more important.
10065917_sThis week I started seeing articles about how most honey on the market is NOT really honey. A research study done showed that a huge percentage of honey in stores is ultra filtered to remove all pollen which strips the honey of its good qualities and makes it NOT honey. According to an article in Natural News “Ultra-filtered honey is nothing more than a health-destroying processed sugar in the same vein as white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this topic. Read the full research article for more info.5287732_s
I mention this article specifically because it shows how the food out there is not always as “safe” or as “healthy” as we think. It seems the FDA has to let this honey thing “slide by” a bit and I find that kind of scary.
 
My purpose in putting this info out there isn’t to scare or cause worry. But instead to inform and encourage you to look into the sources of your food. Pay attention to those produce signs at the grocery store and see where your food is coming from. Hit up those farmers markets whenever you can! Find a local farm to buy some free range, pastured chicken eggs and ask around to find the best local meat place in town. I guarantee you that it will be worth it – both in taste and for your health!
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