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Monday, November 21, 2005

Organically Yours

I dragged Booby with me to Whole Foods on Saturday, though doubtless he would've been happier to stay at home and tinker with the radio. I like the place well enough, but I have to say that the prices were higher than I remembered, and there wasn't as much organic produce as I expected there to be. Plus, the place was crawling with yuppies (what did I expect, on a Saturday morning in the 'burbs?) We bought some produce (all organic, because I refuse to spend $3.99/lb. on "conventional" green beans for my casserole for Thanksgiving), some meat, some banana chips (we are making our own trail mix these days to wean ourselves off the packaged Quaker granola bars), and whole wheat pretzels. Pretzels are my husband's kryptonite, so finding these was a huge deal. Eventually, I'd like to learn to make my own, but we'll see how that pans out. We got out of there for a little under fifty clams for 2 bags. Ouch!

Yesterday, I thought I'd see how the other local supermarket that claims to be mostly organic fared against Whole Foods. The Fresh Grocer is an up 'n' comer in our area, and they have the best and biggest produce section that I've seen in a "regular" supermarket. They had a very nice selection of organic stuff, no smaller than Whole Foods', and the prices were better for the non-organics. I think I'll be going there frequently, as the prices are decent and it's closer (fewer yuppies, too, or maybe it was the time of day).

The best discovery of the weekend, though, was from some magazine that arrived at my house unbidden, and whose title I forget. However, it had an article on sustainable gift-giving, and suggested buying a CSA, which is basically a seasonal subscription to organic and free-range foods. To find a farm group near you, go here.

Farm to City is my local group, and Chris and I probably won't do a CSA, but will participate in a buying club instead, so we can do a one-time order and I can get gifts for people in my family (like my father, who is mad for rack of lamb). The prices are pretty reasonable, and I noticed that pasteurized, 1% organic milk from the farm group is considerably cheaper than buying it from the Supermarket. They even take your order and get it all ready for you - all you do is pick it up at one of a list of pickup addresses, check off each item to make sure you have it in your bags, and off you go. The pickup thing is a little inconvenient, as there isn't one exactly close by, but it's not so far that it's a dealbreaker, and, in fact, it's closer than the Whole Foods. I'll let you know how it goes.

5 Comments:

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous db said...

No farm group near me as far as I can tell. Too bad. Sounds intriguing.

But your travails to consume closer to the earth remind me of a somewhat creepy Talk of the Town piece on consuming unpasteurized milk/milk products. You guys should find a source for that stuff.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

$3.99 for conventional green beans? That is just outrageous.

I'm fortunate to have a very good local health food store. It's a little bit expensive, but compared to Whole Foods it's like a discount emporium.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

db, I had seen a website in my research that extolled the virtues of raw milk. I had no idea, though, that it was restricted by law in NY. As far as I can tell, it's legal in PA, where I am, and readily available from Farm to City. Weird, huh?

Normally, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the gov't isn't being above board with people, but since the pateurization process arose from people getting sick from drinking raw milk, do you suppose there's any merit to the claims of great health made by the raw food people? In any case, I don't want to eat a raw cow heart, no matter how good it might be for me.

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous db said...

FDA says it will make you sick. And somewhat explain the legality issue.

Delicate stomachs proceed with caution.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

"2000-2001--In North Carolina, 12 adults were infected with Listeria monocytogenes linked to homemade, Mexican-style fresh soft cheese produced from contaminated raw milk sold by a local dairy farm. Ten of the 12 victims were pregnant women, and infection with the bacterium resulted in five stillbirths, three premature deliveries, and two infected newborns."

Pregnant women are warned against eating this sort of thing as a matter of course. It's amazing to me that so many of the people involved in this were pregnant women! As with E. coli, listeria also wreaks havoc with the systems of the very young and very old - interesting, then, that the TOTT artivle mentioned parents whose kids "never get sick - not even colds." That is some dumb luck that will one day run out.

Thanks for the info, db.

 

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