by Beth Martin
Food Budgets. Most of us are acutely aware of this topic. We all have finite funds with which to feed ourselves and our families each month. What drives your food purchases? Do you purchase only sale items or the cheapest brand? Or, do you look at food as an investment in your health?
Most of us probably agree that finding a fair price for something — be it food, a car, or item of clothing — is the top of our list when making purchase decisions. But there is more to the story than the bottom dollar.
Think about value. Perhaps you are willing to pay more for something because of its inherent value; higher quality components, parts, better materials, longer life, health benefits? How does this relate to your food purchases? Not so long ago the items in your local grocery store included a selection of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats and canned/packaged goods — much like it does today. But the foods in your grocery store today are not the same as they were fifty years ago. Not all foods are created equal.
Your local grocery cooperative — Just Local Food — offers a wide selection of organically grown fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats and packaged goods from predominantly local farmers and producers. Just Local Food’s mission to provide real foods that are not only healthier for you, but keep your food dollars in our region, ultimately protecting our valuable soils — hence the use of the word “Just” in our name — justly grown, produced and distributed.
So while you may be able to purchase an item for less from another store — think about the true cost of what you are supporting. A vibrant local economy and good health? Or large corporate interests and substandard nutrition from the foods you eat?
There are many ways to save money while transitioning to a healthier diet:
• Utilize the Dirty Dozen listing available through the Environmental Working Group
• Purchase fruits and vegetables in season.
• Purchase less expensive cuts of meat and learn how to make stews, soups and sauces from those cuts.
Your grandparents would not recognize most of what passes for ‘food’ these days. Make them proud and reclaim your health by eating a cleaner more nutrient dense diet.
Your hard earned dollars used to purchase organic/natural foods not only contributes to greater personal health but a thriving local economy. The friendly folks at Just Local Food are available to walk you through the store, answer your food and cooking questions and get you started on the road to better health and a stronger community.