Part of our commitment to living more conscious lives involves being more local consumers. Buying locally grown and produced foods from local vendors is good for both the environment and the local economy. We have already changed our eating out habits in order to patronize local establishments (Acapulcos, Pizza Bella Mia, Daily Harvest Cafe) and we’re working on filling our pantry with locally produced staples.
When it comes to groceries we’ve always shopped at Market Basket. They’re a locally owned franchise of grocery stores that don’t waste time and money on advertising, websites, or stock presentation. They just have low prices and a wide selection of groceries. They’re based out of Tewksbury, Ma, so I already feel better knowing that we aren’t supporting a multinational company like Stop and Shop.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a few positive changes at my local Market Basket. First, they got on board with the larger chains and started selling their own, branded, reusable shopping bags. Yay! I haven’t bought any, though, because I already have enough bags. They have also upgraded their checkout computer systems. My receipt is now printed on both sides and I can now sign the digital tablet when I pay with my credit card- both of which save paper on every transaction! And slowly but surely I am training the baggers to fill up my cloth bags and forgo the plastic. I’d like to think that eventually they’ll use so little plastic that they’ll stop offering it all together!
I usually stick to my list while shopping and buy the least expensive/best value of the selection that I can find. Take peanut butter for instance. Normally I buy the Market Basket brand at $1.50 a jar. This week I noticed that the same size jar of Teddie all natural peanut butter was 2/$4. I decided to pay the extra 50 cents to check it out. As it turns out, Teddie is a local, family owned company, based right here in Everett, Ma. And as an extra bonus the peanut butter comes in a wide mouth glass jar that will be perfect for fridge storage once we’ve licked it clean of pb!
The last month or so we’ve also been drinking local milk. Those of you on the North Shore will certainly know Richardson‘s for their ice cream but they also sell their own milk. I don’t drink milk, but Peter claims that it tastes quite good and milky. I like the fact that Richardson’s raises their own cows and feeds them corn and grain that they grow themselves here in Massachusetts. We do have to drive a little further to get it, but I think it is a good trade off.
We’ll continue to seek out opportunities to buy local food. When the weather warms up I’m sure we’ll have a ball at the farmer’s markets that are in our area! How do you support your local farmers and economy?