by Dec 31, 2011
A great alternative to shopping at a store for your organic food is to join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. These programs run in cities and towns of all sizes, and if you don’t already have one you might want to look into starting one.
With a CSA, you purchase a share in the program and your money goes to pay a portion of a local farm’s operating expenses. The cost of these shares varies, and there are sometimes options to split a share with another family. What you get in return for your investment is regular deliveries of local farm fresh foods.
Of course, there is a certain level of anticipation while you wait to see what arrives in your box. You’ll have to be willing to adapt your recipes to what you receive, but the excitement of the unknown and the pride that comes from making use of what you are given will overcome any negative feelings towards the process.
by Dec 25, 2011
Farmers’ markets are a great source of local produce and meats, but many people overlook the value of supporting their local farmers in their quest for organic foods.
It’s true that going to the market is a very different experience than visiting a chain grocery store. To start, it requires that you speak with the people who have grown or raised your food. The benefit that comes from this is that you can ask as many questions as you wish.
You should always ask for recommendations and if the food is organic. Although in some cases it may not be certified organic, you might be surprised to learn that some food has been grown organically and that the farm is still going through the process of becoming certified.
Another variation that a famers’ market offers – that can be intimidating to a market novice – is the ability to negotiate on price. Be sure not to offend your new friends, but ask about bulk discounts or to have something thrown in with a larger purchase.
If the hours of the local farmers’ market are holding you back, try asking your favourite vendor how you can make purchases outside the market hours. Chances are, a potential long-term customer making special arrangements won’t offend them.
The farmers’ market will provide you with fresh and local food and is an experience you should seek out.
by Dec 19, 2011
You might be surprised by the amount of organic food choices in your community. But buying organic requires more than just knowing where to find it. Spend a little time at your local organic establishments to find out more about their food and where it comes from.
Potential questions to ask the store clerk or owner:
- What ratio of the food that you sell is certified organic?
- Where does specific food come from (local, shipped in, etc)?
- Are there any items that your store takes pride or specializes in?
- How long have you been in business?
- Why did you decide to sell organic products?
There are many reasons that people buy organic – health reasons, environmental reasons, socio-economical reasons – and factors such as price, locality of food, and service of an establishment come into play when people make the decision to buy organic. By spending some time getting to know more about your choices, you’ll be able to find the shop that best suits your needs.