I preach organic, as it’s the most healthy source of food, potent in vitamins and nutrients as it is allowed to grow and flourish God’s way, without addition of harmful toxic products and processes, without being rushed to maturity to increase corporate profits, and without processes which leave the appearance of freshness when, in fact, most of what you buy at the grocery store is beyond a time frame that anyone would want to eat if they knew. Now, let’s speak beyond organic.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that fresh (meaning just harvested) foods are much better for you than those which have been harvested who knows how long ago, and transported across the country, through Lord knows how many hands and storage facilities, etc. Obviously, some we can’t do local, depending on your geographic location and viable season length. For example, you can’t expect to buy local oranges in Alaska. But, when you can buy local, wouldn’t you feel much more comfortable knowing your fruits and veggies were just harvested today or yesterday and went straight from the farmer’s hands to yours? This is where buying local comes in to play. KNOW YOUR FARMER. Not only does this provide for much better health, it also supports the local economy…the profit generated from your purchase stays in your local community. Furthermore, when you buy something “off the stalk” or “off the pasture” versus “off the shelf” YOU get the shelf life instead of the large scale food producers and grocers, meaning your food lasts much longer and you get much more bang for your buck. When I purchase local produce, for example, it can last for weeks. Have you ever bought produce at Walmart and been aggravated that it was rotting 2 days later? Well, then don’t…it’s totally your choice to support Big Ag or small scale local farmers and everyone benefits when you go local. If you would like assistance locating local farms and CSAs, visit Eat Local Grown, Eat Wild, the Weston A. Price Foundation or contact me for further recommendations to find local foods. You can also visit RealMilk.com to find sources of raw milk. Even if you aren’t in search of raw milk (never buy standard store milk), you can reach out to the farms near you as they are often aware of other local organic farmers that may have meats and veggies.
If you are in the southeast Missouri area, you can find local grassfed beef at Franciscan Family Farms, KRitter Country, or Rain Crow Ranch. You can find some of these meats also through Family Friendly Farm and Natural Health Organic Foods as they serve as somewhat of a depo and all carry meats from local farmers. Some of these farms/vendors also carry GMO free and/or organic chickens and eggs, so ask around when you inquire about beef. We also have a great coop-like buying club for purchasing local goods at Cape Locally Grown. For what you can’t find local you can join either of our local organic buying clubs for free. Email our local contact for UNFI to join our local UNFI club or visit Azure Standard‘s site and set up an account to join our local Azure club.
As far as local produce, Family Friendly Farms also carries local produce in season. The owners of Natural Health Organic Foods also have a nice homestead and they harvest and bring in veggies during season at a very reasonable price. Laughing Stalk Farmstead has a CSA. Many of these local farmers and others also are at the local farmers markets, such as the Cape Riverfront Market. There are two markets in Cape, one in Jackson and one in Carbondale. When at your local farmers markets, be sure to ASK the farmers if they grow GMO, conventionally or organic, because there is GMO corn at our local farmers’ market! Although local conventional farmers may not use as many chemicals as large scale agricultural facilities, many still use them, unless they practice organic farming, so always ask so you know what you’re buying and supporting. Don’t assume just because it’s at the local farmers’ market that it is safe or free of chemicals. There is also a coop in Carbondale. And, you can always grow your own. It’s not as difficult as one would think so get those hands in the ground and drop some seeds!
Good luck on your new local rendezvous and happy harvesting!