Travel, Food, and Slices of Life

What now? And people think this is the answer?


One stop shopping. Pull into a big box mega superstore and buy your outdoor barbecue, the screened in gazebo you can put around the picnic table so the bugs won’t bother you, and the food to serve. Yup…they started popping up all over the United States and turned into a monster. Wal-Mart is THE place to shop in many towns and a competitor to regional supermarket chains almost everywhere.

And small town mom and pop stores, whether they were the green grocer that always had the freshest local tomatoes in the summer, or the small hardware store where the guy knew exactly where that weird screw was located that you needed, those started disappearing from our neighborhoods.

And now we have terms like food dessert in urban areas because the small corner markets are gone gone gone.

So, people have been complaining about the low wages that cause workers to get public programs to feed their families….but they still shop there. Do you?

So the latest thing: Wal-Mart, always looking to make money,  knows people “want organic food.” Why? Because more and more people are becoming aware that the food found in the supermarkets are full of chemicals and they believe organic is the answer….but is it?

Maybe not. Here’s the BIG reason it bothers me:  Where is the food coming from? To keep the prices very low, the way Wal-Mart is proposing, they will have to purchase it from….where? Out of the country? Probably. China? Maybe. Who is determining the food is raised in the certified organic way? Not the US Government! They just ask for a report. No inspection.

Why do I assume it is from out of the country? Because it costs a lot to raise organic food. Let’s start with the fact that farmers with organic certification do not qualify for subsidies the way conventional farmers in this country do. So right off, the food costs more to plant as a seed.  Because organic farmers do not use chemicals to control pests or weeds, there is more hands on labor for getting that food to maturity. Later, when it gets to the harvest and selling the product, there is no underlying program to cover costs with organic foods. If the farmer can not sell it high enough, no one will send him some money to cover the loss. So, after several years of that, s/he will go out of business.

You want the BEST answer for buying healthy food that is not expensive? Buy from your local farmers. The idea of a CSA may disturb you because farmers are asking for the weeks of food you will be receiving up front. This is so they have money to cover their operating expenses. In the more expensive areas of the country this comes to about $30 a week for 4 people.  If you are not spending that much for veggies you most likely are not eating the amount you should be for proper health and nutrition. buy local

Perhaps you don’t cook. Perhaps you do cook but want only a few kinds of veggies and don’t know how others taste. What? You are going to assume you dislike something before you eat it? That is so 5th grade.




Author: GoingPlaces Can-Do Zero Waste

I moved to McMinnville a few years ago and was impressed with its friendliness and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. I write several blogs. GoingPlacesLivingLife is my personal blog related to travel, food and just general thoughts. Can-Do Real Food tells about my business processing local produce from small farms and preserving it by canning and dehydrating. The concept of Zero Waste appeals to me because we can truly reduce what gets tossed into the landfill with very small changes in our lifestyle. Join us.

6 thoughts on “What now? And people think this is the answer?

  1. Thanks for writing this one Beth. I end up having to go to a Walmart about once every 3 or 4 years. I get in, but the one thing I need and get out. I am painfully aware of where my money is being spent and who and what it’s supporting.
    I don’t consider organic from other countries (with the exception of Canada) to be organic. These claims are un-verified by any US authority. Any everybody involved in it, knows it. It’s unlikely the clai m is meaningul.
    …Not that it means that much since the USDA co-opted the Organic Standards and immediately started to diminish it by allowing non-organic substances and practices to enter the “Certified Organic” label.

    • I started writing about how diluted the label has become but figured it was too much in one essay. Since that meeting last year I have decided, like you, the best way to get healthy food is to know my farmers. To understand how they produce the food they raise and to be willing to pay a price that supports their effort.

  2. Beth, you know me so well!

    • Actually, Nancy, I wasn’t thinking of any one person in particular. I just know the way I used to shop prior to reading all the problems with the current food supply. We made changes and I do feel a lot better not eating so many chemicals. Knowing my farmer(s) is one of the most important things I have done for our own nutrition, our long-term health, and the local economy.

  3. Can’t remember the last time I entered a WalMart… many years ago, it must have been when some woman screamed at me for leaving Sissy in the car for 15 minutes while I ran in to get one item I couldn’t find ANYWHERE else, at any price. The temperature was somewhere in the mid-50s, the windows were cracked and it was overcast. You run into some of the weirdest people in that parking lot.

    I also found that when I used to shop there, I never saved any money because I’d come home with crap that ended up in the landfill soon thereafter. O_o

    • I remember when I first starting commenting about the low wages there, about 5 years ago, people told me they knew people who were happy for their jobs at Wal-mart but no one evaluated the value of those wages until very recently….and I bet the people who shopped there regularly are STILL shopping there regularly. We vote with our dollars people.

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