A few quick updates on my efforts to balance economics, supporting local products, buying local, and reducing packaging as I shop for food. . .
Eggs: The 25 cent eggs at Chico Natural Foods are now up to 35 cents each, bringing them more in line with Farmer’s Market prices. I have not yet learned much about them, but I am happy giving my $$ directly to the farmer (Chris, Chaffin, or Red Bank). However, its nice to know they’re there.
Cooking Oil: Olive oil is a commodity item. If you have the room to store it in a cool dark place, then go for it. As such, purchasing a gallon of Chaffin Olive Oil at the Saturday Farmers market cost me 1/3 less than a bulk Chaffin olive oil purchase at the coop. Question: Has any out there tried rice oil? Is there a source of local, organic product? I have heard rumors. . .
Almond butter and rice: I have also moved to cutting out the middle man for these products, prices at the farmer’s market are better or equivalent when compared to the bulk options at Chico Natural Foods or S&S.
Maple Syrup: Not a local product, but we all have our vices. I was disappointed to learn that organic maple syrup from Trader Joe’s is significantly less expensive then buying it in bulk. The glass jar is recycleable, so TJ’s it is.
Grocery Outlet: I took another stab at scoping out organic products at Grocery Outlet a few weeks ago, and all I came away with was some peanut butter and some organic vodka pasta sauce. If your goal is organic, in my opinion this isn’t reason enough to warrant regular shopping there.
Just an aside, I am not trying to knock Chico Natural Foods–Very few people can get to the Farmer’s Market every week (especially in winter, when Saturday is the only option), and CNF carries a great variety of local and organic products. I remain a visitor to CNF 2-4 times a month; my frequent purchases include milk, cheese, and bulk items that aren’t sold at the farmer’s market (such as beans).
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