Shopping strategies. Using local markets, CSAs and farmstands instead of grocery stores. For the period of May through November, much of what we buy comes from locally, regionally acquired sources. Small businesses mostly.
I haven’t set foot in a Safeway in years. Giant, maybe two or three times since January. Harris Teeter and Wegmans get visited often during the slow seasons, but not much in the summer.
I was over at Jenny’s market this Friday. Right off Route 32, a family produce stand. Yes, they buy things at the produce wholesale markets, as does Boarmans. That doesn’t bother me, as they are acquiring very fresh items, many of them local.
I picked up bananas and oranges at Jenny’s. Not grown locally, obviously, but major purchases for us, as we use citrus in many preparations, and bananas are important for our health. She also has avocados, lemons and limes. I don’t need to run off to a grocery store for those normal ingredients that show up in many of my salads. I can support a local family and get them there.
The bulk of my food this summer. Three sources. Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, for a half share of veggies, for chicken and a monthly delivery of cheese. Delivered to a house in Columbia. That same day I will head over to Friends and Farms for an individual basket. Add to that my garden. Only a few staples and some spice and oil need to be picked up at any stores.
In May 2011, I discovered Community Supported Agriculture. I did OK with it, but we did give away stuff we didn’t use. These days, since I have changed my diet drastically to use veggies and fruit as the dominant contributor to all meals, I almost never leave things go to waste.
Somewhere in the last four years, I made a massive adjustment in what I bought and how I cooked. Now, my cholesterol is way down. My HDL is the highest it has ever been. All other numbers at my physical are good, or better than good. Getting all that sugar and sodium out of our diets has made quite a difference.
Yes, it takes time to cook from scratch. To garden. To process foods for freezing and canning. But, I control what goes in them. I limit the salt. Don’t add sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I feel so much better.
I like this market strategy.
This week the CSA begins again. And, I can’t wait to see what we get. And have fun with how I use it.