Sourcing organic whole foods

For my family, good food means organic food. Sourcing it has been a real challenge. Now that our CSA is done and the Dane County Farmer’s Market will move to the inside markets the challenge begins.

We have been working on sourcing our organic diet for years. Initially we had to order the quantity of food we needed and have it be delivered to a local grocery store from Organic Valley. The quantity for what we were looking to buy was not available locally. Organic Valley was our first experience in WI with organic food and beverage. To this day 60% of our organic diet is supplied by this company. We trust Organic Valley and we continue to use their products.

Organic Valley does carry produce throughout the summer but we have always enjoyed the trek to Dane County Farmer’s Market. With winter approaching we will again rely wholeheartedly on Whole Foods.

Last night our dinner meal was 100% organic purchased exclusively from Whole Foods. We enjoyed a roasted chicken(2.5#) costing us $9.50, organic potatoes, organic carrots (Harmony Farms) sold at WF in Madison, 365 organic gravy and organic custard made with Organic Valley Milk.

The wonderful thing about buying organic, besides- eat local & its good for you and the earth,  is that the vegetables cook in 1/2 the time of any of the non organic veggies. My guess is the non organic veggies are so preserved(waxing, cleaning, sprays) or old that they are much more dense and woody to cook quickly.

This can also be said about chickens. I cooked non organic chicken for almost 20 years in both gas and electric ovens. Most of the chickens ranged in wt 2-3.5# and on 375 degrees would take 2-3 hours. An organic chicken of the same weight at the same degree takes about 1 hr and 15 minutes.

If we were not willing to drive for two hours there would be no way for us to eat organic chicken. That is a definite shame.  We are committed so we bundle as many activities and errands in a day trip and off we go.

As far as organic vegetables go, without the DCFM, Willy’s Coop and Whole Foods we would not have enjoyed the last few years eating organic veggies.

None are sold locally or within a 40 miles radius either direction. Madison Wisconsin is our closest source.

Thank you Madison and thank you to all the farmer’s in the Madison area.

RotisserieChicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our chicken looked like this. We ate 1/4 of it and froze, for sandwiches later, 3/4 of it. **Photo compliments of Whole Foods** we forgot to take a photo before we started carving. 🙂

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The right and the freedom to choose what I eat

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It has never been more apparent than now that we as consumers need to know exactly what we are feeding our families, have a trusting relationship with our supplier, and be made aware of where it is manufactured and by what process (genetically modified food or ?).

http://www.techyville.com/2013/09/news/tests-confirmed-aldi-beef-contained-horse-meat/ which really shouldn’t surprise me or anyone else because this same issue happened earlier this year (same company, same horsemeat issue, same retailer-Aldi’s).

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/10/world/europe/uk-horsemeat-probe/index.html .  I know my family doesn’t need to worry about eating mystery meat because we don’t shop at Aldi’s. In fact, we don’t eat much meat at all anymore, having given up red meat almost 6 months ago now.

I was required to write a research paper for one of my university courses on ethics. I chose the food industry and have attached my research paper. I spent close to 100 hours researching the subject matter and have devoted the last 10 years of my life to changing my family’s diet and lifestyle-moving away from eating large retail sourced food to local food only.

The food that we the consumers buy should have labels that contain ALL the information about said food on them all ingredients, additives, where they were grown or manufactured and whether or not they are GM (genetically modified ) foods. As consumers of these products, the very least we should be given is enough information to make an informed decision as to whether we want to consume said product at all. Being given limited information or no information at all holds us prisoner to the very people who make claims to have our best interests in mind. It’s time for people to stand up and demand to know everything about the food they are eating and feeding to their children. It is, after all, going into our bodies, the same bodies we need to carry out all manner of tasks in life. It’s too much of a risk to buy from companies that make no effort or very little to ensure their suppliers are really supplying what they say they are. I mean really this problem with horse meat and Aldi’s has been going on for quite a long time.  The only way you ever really know what you are eating is to grow/raise it yourself or purchase your meat and produce from local farmers.

ethical-leadership-research-paper-kim-vanderwerf1(1)

Sourcing and foraging

I’ve spent the better part of six months looking for local sources for organic food. Local being no more than a 20-mile round trip. I’ve not been able to find a source for produce or meat.

One of the options I have is to order for home delivery both produce or meat. The company is local, well known, and all of their products are from local farmers. This is very expensive. I may have to do some creative budgeting to make this work.  Also, we have storage issues.

Because we live in an apartment we have to make use of the appliances that come with it. The appliances are ten years old and not efficient. Not. even. close. To purchase a chest freezer would raise our utility bill. If we had more efficient appliances we would purchase a small chest freezer.

So..I need to figure out if we should buy more efficient appliances while we live here and take them with us when we leave.

We have decided not to purchase a CSA share this season. It was a hard decision to make. Living 50 miles from the nearest farm, that could offer us a share, was the primary reason. We will travel once a month to Madison and buy fresh produce at the Dane County’s Farmer’s Market. I will time our monthly shopping to coincide with that day.

It will be a long day for us but doing this will save miles on our car and a lot of fuel. Last year, participating in the CSA, cost us $12.50 a trip. After adding all the expenses together we came out about $1.00 a week ahead for the 20 week season. Yes, we enjoyed the benefits of fresh vegetables and a trip to the farm twice a month. At the same time, we put on an extra 200 miles a month on our auto and an extra $25.00 a month in fuel. The cost was too much.

There must be a better way. I am frustrated and disappointed that to supply my family with organic food so much has to be worked out. Why can’t it be as easy as walking to the local grocery store? People in this area are not asking for organic. Frankly when I shop I almost believe I am the only one in this town buying the organic milk. I am thankful that I can buy my dairy products locally. I am thankful, very thankful, for that.

When we made the decision to change our lifestyle to organic we knew we would struggle. We knew that the costs would be high. The costs will stay high until more people choose to change their lifestyles.

On a positive note, we have been able to find Green cleaning supplies local. We’ve purchased most of the Seventh Generation line for cleaning. I would highly recommend all of their products.

Entry date- 4/1/2010