If you think you have to shop in a health food store to eat healthy, consider healthier, less-structured options.
Designated “health” food stores can be expensive. It may be hard to get excited about shopping at them (even though I still do) when you spend so much more money to shop there. It is possible to vote economically with your money. A very popular blog, “100 Days of Real Food,” shows that it can be done with a family of four.
Some things are easier to buy at health food stores. However, fruits, veggies, local animal products, local honeys, and many more things can be found in less structured, more informal, local options: Community Support Agriculture (CSA) boxes, your own garden, farmers markets (seasonal and year round), produce stands, foraging, and food co-ops. Some options, such as gardening, involve getting up close and personal with your food, while other options allow you to maintain a very safe distance from your food (buying versus picking it yourself). Get out of the health store and try something new and more economical. By getting out of the health food store and going local, you may benefit yourself, reduce environmental waste from long distance travel, and eat a fresher product that tastes better with more nutritional value and water content.
“Ultimately, we have the food system that we have, because that’s what we want.”
– Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
Opportunities to step out of the health food store abound. Research places around you where you can obtain good quality produce and animal products year round. (Some outside-the-box health food options are seasonal.)
- Buy in bulk during the growing season from local farms or places like azurestandard.com and split with friends. Or preserve it for later with good food preservation techniques, such as drying, freezing, and canning.
- CSA boxes are delivered weekly, providing opportunities for local produce with a variety you may never purchase on your own.
Nationwide websites, such as localharvest.org and foodroutes.org, list farms and farmers markets near you.
Eat Where You Live: How to Find and Enjoy Fantastic and Local Sustainable Food No Matter Where You Live, by Lou Bendrick, provides resources for finding food outside the health food store or grocery store no matter where you live.