Saturday, March 8, 2008
A Bay Area Blessing
One of the many blessings of living in the bay area, of which there are many, is the abundance of high quality grocery stores whose priorities match mine. When it comes to food, even on my tight budget, I do not like to cut corners. Yes, I'm frugal with how I spend my money, but if an apple is 40 cents more a pound because it comes from a local farm instead of New Zealand that is money well spent. Many foods don't have the real cost ( cost to your health, the environment, the workers, the public health, etc... ) built in to the price you pay at the store. What is the impact of buying that apple from across the globe versus one you bought from your 'backyard'? I think the more grocery stores that support local seasonal agriculture, the more people will see how easy and affordable it is to eat that way. My first favorite find after moving to the city was Golden Produce. Not too pretty from the street (so much so that I avoided it for a few months, embarrassingly enough!), but chock full of wonderful produce. They have many organic offerings, and lots of seasonal veggies. Even a dairy case, dry bins and small grocery selection too. They even just opened up a Golden Natural Foods down the street with a butcher and more extensive grocery selection, with even a wall devoted to teas! There are many other grocery stores that do this on a larger scale, such as Rainbow Grocery and Berkeley Bowl. Berekely Bowl has a case full of butter for which I have a weakness. There are many choices, and I always stock up when I stop in!! I love supporting these stores that support the small local farms and stock products from the companies that prioritize the environment. There are a lot of factors that shape the food industry, but the consumer is still left with a lot of power. By asking your grocer to stock local goods, which in turn you can buy, gives you a chance to support these small businesses! Your dollar goes a long way in showing support and affecting change! Buy local, seasonal goods at your farmers market, and if you're lucky like me, at your grocery store.