Today I am covering fruits and vegetables. From everything that I have read this is pretty simple, purchase produce that is local and if you can organic. This isn't always easy, at least not for me. This one has been much harder for me to write. I am a "nice" girl so I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but this one might.
First, I think I need to let you in on little about my life. I live in rural america. It takes me 30+ to get to the grocery store, and that being a town that is less than 40,000 people to get any bigger than that I have to drive for an hour and I just don't do that very often. I go to town twice a week, because we run out of milk if I don't. Sometimes more if I need to run errands for the shop or the farm. I drive a Suburban, because you can't drive a car into a field without catching something on fire and that is BAD. You get a lot of trouble for that. I also love my Suburban. It is mine. It takes me anywhere I want to go and I feel safe in it. It can haul me, my three boys and a huge Costco load without a problem. Second, I grew up on a farm, yes we had animals, but we are a grass seed farm. We grow grass. We had some livestock off and on growing up, cows, sheep, chickens, goats, ducks, cats, and lots of dogs. We vaccinate and spray things with chemicals. It is what we do.
Now according to the books and articles that I have read all your produce/meat/ect. needs to be local and organic. Well that doesn't work for me. In the summer that is easy with farmers market, but in the winter it just doesn't happen. I am not about to pay three times the amount for an apple that looks bad (although still good) because it is organic. Well it isn't local so how is that helping anything. I buy regular produce from the store. I spend the extra and buy fresh rather than frozen. There is nothing wrong with the frozen I just prefer the fresh.
Now I don't want this to sound like I have something against organic produce. I don't. I just think that at times people put way to into it. Yes I am sure you could show me all the data to suggest that it is so much better for you. I have seen the data. Thanks. Honestly it comes down to this. It costs a lot to be an organic farmer, and it takes a lot of time to become certified organic. Those costs get passed on to you the consumer. It costs more because they can't spray and it is highly labor intensive. On the flip side we have local farmers that are doing the best they can, but they aren't organic. They don't have the capital to put in order to be organic; they don't have the money to lose taking fields out of production. So for the small guy that is doing something he loves, and is trying to support a family sometimes they just can't afford to take that risk. Shouldn't we be supporting them? Anyone who says farmers are rich never met a real one. Yes, they are rich in land, but not in pocket. There are those who come from "old" money but I am not talking about those. It is the ones that have a love of the land and have chosen to do something with that love.
Basically, do what you can with what you have. For those who can get good local and/or organic produce year-round then good for you. That still isn't an option for me. When it is maybe I will change my mind until then I do the best I can with what is available to me. The whole point is to keep the money local to help out your neighbor.
What are your thoughts on clean eating??