Take Action with Your Food Shopping Dollars
When I crave plush parsley for Tabouli or juicy Pink Lady Apples for a snack, I go to my herb garden, my local farmers’ market, or the health food store, rather than journey to the supermarket. I take advantage of the simplicity, intimacy, and quality this way of meeting my food needs provides.
If plums, carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers aren't commercially prepackaged, my tactile, visual, and olfactory senses can determine the best buys of the day. I select fruits and veggies that smell garden-fresh, are vivid in color, appear unblemished, and are crisp or firm to the touch. Close examination increases my chance that the produce I get won’t spoil before I get to prepare, serve, and eat it. That’s why I check leaves, roots, peel or skin, and pick ripe but not mushy fruits and vegetables.
My local store uses minimal packaging, thereby conserving natural resources and reducing the amount of new garbage dumped in a landfill. I bring canvas shopping bags whenever I shop for food or other goods, and reduce my carbon footprint even more.
My routine is to check ahead, so I know what days of the week orders are delivered. On food shopping days, I remain flexible with menu planning. I want to get those items that are in-season, at the peak of freshness, and that fit in with my nutritional needs. At a local market, I'm not forced to stock up and buy three prepackaged red peppers, when all I need is one. This allows me the freedom to buy no more than I can serve within a day or two.
In late summer, when Wilcox farms are resplendent with mouth-watering peaches, this locally grown fruit is unquestionably the best! Assembly line and out of season crops from South America or New Zealand may be in transit for several days and sit in warehouses for weeks, before they reach the mega stores and then my table. The local harvest may be too small to satisfy supermarket quotas, but when made available in neighborhood stores, far surpass bland cardboard tasting imports. Since stores are nearby, I don't waste gas. The errand is an opportunity to catch up on what's happening in my neighborhood and make other stops along the way. I enjoy the cordiality and informality of dealing with people I know. Lines are short, sometimes none-existent, and eliminate much of the impersonal nature of life in the express lane of the supermarket.
My local health food store and farmers’ market sells organic. This is another reason why my produce including tomatoes, grapes, potatoes, and kale are so tasty and healthful. These items haven’t been waxed, chemically sprayed, irradiated, or injected with additives. If a product is marked organic, I know it isn't genetically altered either. I make the conscious choice to eat foods that are in the original state Mother Nature intended. I also know that organic farming doesn’t use synthetic pesticides and pollutants. Each time I shop organic I save a small spot of the planet by not polluting the ground, water, air, or my body.
That's why it’s important to me to write letters, blogs, and articles that alert you as well as the manufacturers, FDA, elected officials, and stores about food products that help and harm the food supply. I put my money where my mouth is and boycott products that are genetically modified or I deem unsafe. I have seen that an ongoing demand for organics and non-genetically modified foods motivates farmers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers to pay closer attention to what they offer for sale. If we are vocal enough, organics can become more readily available and at a lower price.
Here's info from Eating Well Magazine that addresses this question:
Shopping and growing food in my neighborhood, gives me a feeling of continuity and community. Even more basic, it gives me a sense of history and earlier people, who hunted, gathered, and grew food for their families. I’ve noticed the path to my home vegetable garden reverberates with the sound of their steps as well as those of my ancestors’ footprints too. Being a part of the food circle, draws me close to the Source. I give thanks to the Earth in her richness and all the people who play a part in bringing this bounty to me.
Then, I reflect about those who may not use their power. Illness, poverty, apathy, fear, or lack of knowledge may be an issue for them. I am grateful that over 25 years ago I set the intention to do what I can to share a healthful meal with others, contribute to the Community Food Bank, and volunteer to do shopping for a shut in. In what ways do you share your abundance? How do you spread the word about local, healthful food? I challenge you to use your intelligence and find a way to be bold and take action. Positive change can start with that first right step. Journalist Anthony Gucciardi shares his view about the average consumer being an activist just by the choices he or she makes when shopping.
Also, please read this from John and Ocean Robbins at the Food Revolution about labeling GMO and speaking out.
Please comment by emailing me at email@example.com or reach out through social media. Nancy-Andres-Health-Lifestyle-Writer-Author on Facebook and Nancy Andres on Pinterest.
I’d love to hear what steps you take or plan to take to shop local, grow local, and vote with your food shopping dollars.
Here's what Lorraine Schwartz from NM shared with me.
"Your article on food choices was really good. Some of us need the reminder to support our local farmer's markets and natural grocers. We have one locally owned health food store in town so it is good to know that any purchases provide good paying jobs in addition to knowing the food is fresher and healthier. Cid's Market has been in business for over 25 years and is owned and run by a couple formerly from New Rochelle. Keep up the writing-it gets better all the time. So happy your book is doing well."
This blog post has been shared at The Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #32
This blog post has been shared at Tuesdays With a Twist #84
This blog post has been shared at Natural Family Friday Weekly Link Up-Nov. 14, 2014
The quotation for today is:
"I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food."
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/anthonybou552939.html#rxk1C21pHAXMerrI.99