Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Elusive Farmers' Market

After my local co-op closed down due to mismanagement, I was forced to go to chains like Whole Foods and AJ's for healthy organic foods. With the price of oil up, my food budget was quickly becoming a bigger part of my monthly expenses than ever before. Although I would really prefer to eat organic, I will settle for local foods to support fair pay, reduce my carbon footprint, and be one less supporter of chain supermarkets. Not only is Whole Foods incredibly overpriced, I have no assurance that what I am purchasing is Fair Trade, and it certainly is not local. While my body might like that I am not pumping chemicals into it, I would certainly like to do more for the energy crisis. Problem is, I had no idea where to find locally grown food after being spoiled by my co-op.

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Market Search, I was able to find quite a few places where I could buy local foods. I suspect that quite a lot of them are hit-or-miss, and probably not as organic as I would like. Regardless, it would be far cheaper, and energy-efficent, to give some of the local markets a shot.

Now all I need to do is find some friends who are willing and able to commit to driving out to one or two with me regularly. It would be entirely counterproductive to shop locally in order to reduce my carbon footprint only to drive there in a big car by myself.

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