Dec 12th

Organic at the grocery store? No way!

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For us it started with a dozen eggs. ..

My husband brought them home from a colleague at work whose inlaws own a small hobby farm. They were selling off their surplus eggs for $3 a dozen. They were Organic, truly free range and the same price as factory farm eggs from the store. That dozen quickly turned into 3 dozen a week or more  (we are a family of 5), nothing could compare to these beautiful brown treasures with their thick whites and shells so hard you really had to smack.  Then one day we were offered half a cow. This pasture raised meat was beyond delicious and despite the initial upfront cost, worked out to be a steal at $3/lb.

 At this point my thinking about food and the cost of eating organic really started to change and as we transitioned to making the 20min drive to pick up our eggs every 2-3 weeks ourselves I hatched a plan to radicalize our food purchasing.

 We took detours, talked to farmers, followed leads and made connections. My goal was to buy as much of our food, cash up front from local small-time and non commercial sources. It’s true there aren’t fancy labels or stickers, nor did an international expert panel rummage through these farmers gardens and scrutinize them. But I feel comfortable buying from the front lines and eating from the same garden they do.

 Some treasures we have found along the way are organic cornmeal, fresh local roasting chickens,handmade maple syrup, fresh pressed apple cider, produce grown with love, no preservative sausages and unpasteurized local honey .

 We add to this list constantly and while we still shop at our local grocery store, we try to get out to the farms as much as we can. When we can’t we don’t sweat it, because doing the best you can is healthier than worrying all the time. Flexibility and an open mind are the best tools you can bring with you.

We have met some lovely people on this journey, people who have the biggest stake in our land and are direct casualties of government decisions and zoning laws that most of us think are unimportant. They are intelligent, well read and know way more chemistry than most university chemistry majors. My advice is that you get to know them too.

Some tips for getting started:

 Visit farmers markets and get to know the vendors, ask them for leads

  • Take a drive- drive around rural areas, follow signs and visit the actual farms, ask if they know of anyone local who sells other stuff you are looking for.
  • Network with other like minded people and share resources.
  • Look herefarm