Are you shopping local? If not, why not? Every week Americans head to grocery stores all over to pick up their food, but when they grab that box of cereal do they actually know where it came from? Who made it? Probably not. As a majority, we are not asking the important questions. Where did this food come from? How far did it have to travel to get here? How much gas did it take to deliver it? Are the workers that are distributing it being paid what they should be paid? Is it organic? Has it been sprayed with a lot of harmful substances?
These are HUGE questions that not enough of us are asking. With the recent closing of Earth Fare, it has made me really evaluate our food situation and our food consumption footprint. We can do better. I can do better. Here is my thoughts on how we can collectively begin retraining ourselves on how to start buying more locally and how to STOP giving our money to Big Box stores that are directly contributing to the wage crisis and over consumption crisis. Plus the damage they have towards small batch businesses.
- Start with a plan. I am a planner. Don’t ask me how many bullet journal planners I have for different aspects of my life I want to organize, it is almost shameful. To name just a few…a grocery meal planner and grocery list planner, my business planner, my small business production planner…the list goes on. When we do planning, we save money…period! So plan out a week’s worth of meals; 7 breakfast ideas, 7 lunch ideas, 7 dinner ideas. Don’t forget snacks and drinks! Keep it real, folks! Create your grocery list. Here is a great farmers market grocery list.
- Shop first in your pantry. Years ago we lived in a larger home and I had a room designated for food storage. It was my goal to have enough food storage and order from my favorite online food delivery place Mother Earth Food based out of Asheville, NC. that I didn’t have to go to the store for just a few things! It was great! I had reached that goal, but since then we have moved to a smaller place and it isn’t quite as easy to store food, but I still have that same frame of mind. We do have a little food storage so I always look over that first and my grocery list to see if I already have it! If not, it stays on my list.
- Head to your local farmers market and see if you can mark some of your grocery items off from there. Make sure to remember that you can pick up gifts from the market as well.
- Whatever is left on your list, head to your small grocery stores. The local shops that are usually family ran and try to finish out your list there.
- I promise you, you aren’t going to spend an arm and a leg. If fact, you will begin to create a relationship with those that produce your food. You begin to become a family! There are perks to that!
- Your health will change! You are eating more seasonally which has been scientifically proven to be better for us! You will meet makers (like me) that create beautiful herbal medicines. You will become healthier inside and out.
- Finally, you are directly supporting your local economy. More money stays in the community. You are reducing climate change impacts. Yes, climate change is real. More local jobs are created when you decide to support your local farmer. You are encouraging local prosperity!
So, get out there and just start making those changes. Farmers markets will be opening soon! I hope to see you there!