I have just done the grocery shopping and wow, how expensive was that? How do people manage? I usually shop for fruit and vegetables at the markets and I try a go to the butchers for meat, so my bill is usually much lower than what I paid today.
I got everything at the supermarket and I did buy some luxuries like coffee, juice, cheese and of course chocolate :) but most of the bill was fruit and vege and meat. I am sure that if the supermarkets sourced their produce from local farmers it would be much cheaper. I do know that when they have bought locally, the produce leaves the area to go to a major city, to a central distribution centre then back out again, some of which then comes back to the area of origin. How crazy is that, there must be a better way, but that is a big company for you.
I guess that is why it is best to shop with the local guys, you get cheaper and fresher, and know that your food hasn’t travelled thousands of kilometers to get to your table.
I like to buy organic when I can, local organic is better, sometimes I can’t get either, I know I should then give it a miss but usually don’t. Buying seasonally is better too, as you know that the produce hasn’t been sitting in cold storage for who knows how long, or has been imported from Brazil, Spain or Russia (not sure what they produce in Russia but you get the idea).
We have an organic shop here which I go to regularly for some stuff, and must say I haven’t asked where the produce comes from but I will (it is now on the list of things to do) but I am pretty sure most are local. I don’t mind paying a little more for it as it does taste better and if nothing else I know that it hasn’t been sprayed with all sorts of nasties. I am also pretty sure that they only have seasonal produce, another thing I must ask.
I once asked at our local markets where the carrots came from, remembering that these market were originally for local farmers to sell their stuff. Anyway the carrots came from WA, and we are in QLD, far north QLD, I didn’t buy those carrots as I know we grow them here.
There is a lot of local produce at the markets so I just pick and choose which stalls I buy from. As I get to know some of the stallholders, and I usually have a bit of a chat, I have found out where they are from and so go back to the locals that actually grow their own stuff.
The banana lady is one of my favourites at the markets, they are from not too far away and have lovely bananas and she is always happy and loves a chat with everyone. She also usually gives the kids a banana for free, a lovely lady :)
So, needless to say, I need to get myself together and get going back to the markets, the organic shop and the butchers, their stuff is so much fresher and the experience of shopping is better than the supermarket.
I was talking with a couple after class today and we were discussing gardens, and they said that they just put all their scraps into the garden as compost (dig a hole and put the kitchen scraps in). They went away on holidays and when they came back found sweet potato growing and some other things that they are going to wait and see what they are. What a great way to garden, I do this from time to time and you end up with this wonderful wild garden with surprises everywhere, they are enjoying discovering what is growing.
This reminded me that I had best get my sweet potato in, so I dug it up out of my old garden and have (for the time being) put it into a large pot. I just cut off the ends with some roots and plant on the end and kept the rest for eating, so I really hope they take.
Though, I must add, it doesn’t get any fresher than the cucumbers picked this morning and brought to Tai Chi class today to share with everyone. I came home with a lovely cucumber which will be added into our salads, and knowing that it was grown just down the road in a backyard veggie garden with love, will make it taste so much better :)