When we first started buying healthy, and avoided all of the pre-packaged and frozen stuff, we went all (or as much as feasibly possible) organic. We loved it. We ate better, we felt better and didn't feel like we were missing anything that we had given up. We had a lot of discussion about food chains, and why it was important to us to eat grass fed beef, rather than feed fed beef. Same for chickens and eggs...what they ate, we ate. And it's not so much that they only eat a certain thing. It was more that they ate what they are supposed to eat, you know?
Anyway. After a while, and a few more documentaries (seriously with the Netflix!) later, we began to realize that while eating organic was good, we had local farmers near us who were struggling. Our neighbors. People in our community. So we started getting what we could from those around us, little by little. We get the most delicious eggs from a friend, we get produce from a local produce farm (they do have some produce that they don't grow, just so they have some of everything to offer, but we try to only get what they grow there), we get milk from a Ga creamery (it's awesome, non-homogenized and only minimally pasteurized), etc. We have a watermelon farmer about a mile from us (can't get any more local than that, if we aren't growing it!), and he has THE best yellow meat watermelons we have ever eaten.
And the organic thing? MANY small farms actually are organic, but they can't afford to/have no desire to get labeled as organic from the FDA. Lots of money and lots of paperwork, that kinda thing.
We are growing our own food too, what we can. But if we can't get it in our own garden, we want it to come from someone near us when it's possible.
All of this is in my mind because this week we went blueberry picking with friends. We went to a local blueberry farm, and met the incredibly sweet blueberry farmers. My boys and I got to experience getting our own food (I know, it wasn't like we killed a cow or anything, but still...), and we had a really good time doing so!
We also got to do our own comparison. When we got home, we had some organic blueberries I had picked up at the store, and we had the berries we had just picked. We noticed differences in how they looked. The store bought blueberries were a little bigger than the fresh ones, and they were all the same size. It wasn't something than any of us noticed or paid attention to, until we saw the fresh ones, which were all different sizes. It made me feel like the store bought blueberries came off of a factory line, lol. The biggest difference was in the taste test though. All of the store bought blueberries tasted good, but they tasted the same. When we started picking out berries from our own haul, we noticed that some were sweeter and some were more tart. But they were all really, really good.
The local ones won over the organic store bought ones. :D
|Bluuuuuuueberry bushes! :)|
|The wee one.|
|Why is there a picture of my blue fingers? Those that know and love me, know that I *never* get my hands dirty. This is proof that I did some pickin' of my own. :D|
Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now. I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day weekend with your loved ones. We did! :)