Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Give Me Better Choices

Yesterday I had to run out to pick some stuff up for dinner. My supermarket choices where I live are limited to Shop Rite (2), Kings and Weis. Yes we have the farms, but I needed things like vacuum bags and mayonnaise.
Shop Rite and I have a very serious love hate relationship. They carry some products for our son at very reasonable prices. The flip side is anything organic or vegetarian is double the price of a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Those two markets are 45 minutes away and we do make the occasional pilgrimage. They won't come out our way as they do not consider my area a strong demographic. Sure there are big bucks, but they want mega traffic like in the urban areas where they thrive. Idiots. They would thrive here, they are just too far removed from the area to know that. Okay, stopping side rant and getting back to the topic.

Shop Rite.

I head down the condiments aisle and stood there annoyed. The dominant brand was Hellman's. There was one squeeze jar of Kraft mayo, Shop Rite brand mayo and that horrifying enigma known as Miracle Whip. I pick up the jar of Hellman's and the first ingredient is soybean oil.
Owned by Unilever.
Double No.
Soybeans are used in everything and most of them are GMO. Unilver uses GMO products. See here.
Now I was perplexed. What the hell was I to do? Thankfully this Shop Rite has chosen to carry certain vegetarian/vegan brands. Again, at a price.
I found Earth Balance Mayonnaise. Read the ingredients (No GMO), felt better and spent 3.99 on one pint. Tasty and relatively good for you. Aces.
I am now considering making my own mayonnaise because let's face it, it is most likely cheaper and healthier. I also do not like mayonnaise but my husband does. He makes his own dressings with it and what not so I do need to have some on hand.

Next I needed vacuum bags, but after a search I could not locate them. I speak to a clerk who informs me they no longer carry them. What? Why? Ugh. Now I have to make an extra trip to Target or something.

Okay, off to the produce section for lemons and apples. There is a sign by the lemons alerting customers that due to heavy rains the lemon crops of Mexico and Chile were damaged so there would be a delay.
Um, what?
Doesn't California grow lemons??
I bought four, still perplexed that none of the lemons offered were grown in USA.
Then came the apples. I did not have time to run to my local CSA farm to get their delicious apples so I sucked it up and figured I would just buy two at the market. I began to peruse the offerings. Some were from the usual suspects. Washington, New York State and then I stopped.

There was a nice box of apples from Western Australia.

Seriously???? No offense to Australia, but with what it most likely cost to fly those babies to New Jersey you could have planted a few apple trees.

The kicker is that where I live there are quite a few farms that grow apples. Yes. We have apple farms. Not a one of them had a bin in the local Shop Rite. A place that advertises they sell local farm produce. This is baffling. No market gets off the hook for this either. They ALL get produce from around the globe.

One thing I have noticed is that on various homesteading/simple living blogs, discussions about food sovereignty is becoming more and more frequent. Let me say that I am all for grown locally or at least nationally. But considering the world is a spoiled place and we want what we want when we want it, that becomes somewhat difficult. I love bananas, I can't grow them, so I have to buy them from South America. A lot of markets do try to source some local produce and I applaud that. But no matter where we shop, labels from around the world have become the norm. There is a slow burning backlash as residents of certain states here in the US and countries around the world start to demand that products be from their respective homelands. I can't blame anyone. People want to keep the jobs and money in their own communities. Makes perfect sense considering economic times are what they are and it does not look good for a few more years. Plus if you read some blogs out of the UK and Australia and you will see what people on tight budgets are contending with already in regards to buying pantry staples as food prices are rising. Stress inducing for sure.

And as for our dinner, I made an apple and onion pizza and a carrot and cabbage slaw which was delicious.


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