merchimerch: (Default)
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2008/06/09/daily42.html

This article redoubles my feeling that buying good food from local farmers in local contexts is vitally important. It reinforces my choice to shop more at local health food stores like Staff of Life and the Herb Room and the 4 farmers markets a week that I now have access to (Tues=UCSC farm, Wed=downtown market, Fri=UCSC farm, Sat=westside market).

Bottom line--I trust my local hippies to keep my food and household products safer than I trust large conglomerates. I do still go to TJs and the Grocery Outlet to save money on some staples, so I'm not implying that I win the local natural food eater award; I'm just doing better than I have in the past.

Industrializing food and other products on a national (and international) scope seems to have a detrimental affect on the quality of product and it manages to dehumanize both consumer and producer. The health food and natural cleaning products are not always what they seem, at least according to this lawsuit which says that Whole Foods 365 brand among others failed to label the toxic levels of certain chemicals that are in their products. I can imagine that people who feel safe shopping at Whole Foods would balk at the toxic warning stickers/signs.

Admittedly, I've never liked the rhetoric around Whole Foods, which markets the green movement as an trendy and expensive accoutrement for the elite. It seems designed around selling a sense of ecochic superiority to the bourgeoisie. However, despite its status as an industrial behemoth, Whole Foods does make efforts toward environmentalism and is better than Safeway (and, despite my title, is much much better than SuperKmart or Walmart). I don't want to imply that people should sacrifice *better* just because they aren't/can't do the *best* option.
merchimerch: (Default)
Dirty Girl Farms sells the tastiest strawberries at the Santa Cruz farmers markets (both the Wed. and the Sat. one). I found out today why that is: the are Seascape strawberries, apparently a slightly different species than the strawberries usually found in the grocery store and grown as the strawberry monoculture that dominates parts of California. Seascape strawberries are smaller and they are both tarter and sweeter. So delicious! I recommend seeking them out.

I also got the first heirloom tomato of the season. It is golden yellow, nobbly, and hopefully the taste of it will remind me why I've avoided most of the ordinary tomatoes available ion the off season.

Hurray for early summer when eating seasonally!

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