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July 06, 2006

To Market, To Market

This week, the Center for a New American Dream posted this article on frugal organic shopping. My first reaction was cynicism. I eat six servings of fruit and six servings of vegetables (that is six cups raw or three cups cooked) every day and, as a grad student, I just can't do organic all the time, or even most of the time. In fact, I have been known to walk into Whole Foods and specifically ask for conventional produce. Reading this article didn't actually teach me anything new -- I already used most of the tactics it describes: buying in bulk (bulk bins, large packages, large quantities of sale items), shopping at co-ops and farmers' markets, eating locally and in season, growing my own (this didn't work so well, given that David and I share our backyard with a family of groundhogs), cooking from scratch, buying a share in a local Community Supported Agriculture farm, clipping coupons, and comparison shopping -- but it reminded me of the value of creativity, of finding ways to pursue my values, rather than simply dismissing them as elitist. I have also learned the benefits of befriending my local organic farmers. Yesterday at the farmers' market, one of them gave me a free zucchini! David reminded me that zucchini are so prolific that most farmers are just glad to rid themselves of their harvest by any means necessary, but it still trimmed my grocery bill. The problem is that winter is a fact of life here in Michigan, which means that it is impossible to eat green greens all the time unless one has a lot of green to devote to the effort. The price of organic produce just skyrockets when it has to be shipped in from the other side of the world. Maybe when I'm a professor I'll be able to afford it (when pigs fly), but until then, I welcome gifts of free produce -- donations can be dropped off on my front porch, any time of day or night!

Posted by eklanche at July 6, 2006 11:44 AM


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