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.