I’ve been thinking about this question lately – Should I be spending my money on supporting our local food economy or focus on buying organic although it’s been shipped from all over the world?
I don’t have all the right answers and I’m sure many of us will disagree with one another; however, I thought this would make a great post to open up the comments for discussion.
This year, I’ve been busy with a newborn so unable to attend the farmers market on a weekly basis like I usually do. On the flip side, I’ve had a great gardening season at home that we haven’t had much of a need for many more vegetables.
It’s been a huge blessing; however, one thing that’s difficult to come by in the Midwest is fruit.
In Iowa, finding different varieties of fruit at a farmers market is few and far between. What we do have, mostly apples and peaches, can be quite expensive. On top of that, I’m not aware of one local berry farm or orchard that intentionally grows organic or chemical free.
So what do I do? Focus on buying local or buy organic from large chain natural food stores?
Trader Joes and Whole Foods
In Central Iowa, we now have a local Trader Joes and Whole Foods Store. As great as it is that we are now able to buy organic foods more freely, it makes it easier to avoid buying local.
In this season of caring for a newborn, I’ve been happy to know that if I miss the market I can still hit the natural food stores.
Once routine sets in, I can see how some might forego the farmers market all together.
Our local food shed needs us and I still believe that those that are making efforts to growing chemical free have vegetables and fruits that are far more nutritious than even their organic counterparts produced in mass amounts. After all, it comes down to the soil it’s grown in.
In all reality, it comes down to the individual family and their real food, food budget. I want the best food that I can get for my family; however, it needs to fall within our budget.
I’m sure most of you have noticed how prices continue to soar at the supermarket. My feed for my chickens keeps rising as well.
So for my family buying both local and organic is important. Here’s where we purchase our weekly food.
- My own organic gardens
- Des Moines Farmers Market
- Local farmers for milk and meat
- Trader Joes
Not everything is organic. Mostly the fruits that make the top 15 clean list I buy conventional. I’ve also been buying conventional Colorado peaches that have been tasting Amazing! Shh… don’t tell 😉
So this is what’s working for my family. I’m really happy we have so many options to choose from. Next week I’m going to share with you exactly what I buy from each store. I’ve had people ask me, so I think it’s time to share how I make this all work. I’ll also share why I favor Trader Joes over Whole Foods.
So, how about you? Do you intentionally buy organic, local, or both? I’d love to hear where you shop and how you feel about this topic.