About 4 months ago I made a pretty significant change when it came to my shopping habits. I decided to give up on the chain grocery stores and do all of my shopping at organic food markets.
I didn’t do this because I thought I was better than everyone else, and I certainly didn’t do because I had enough income to take the hit financially.
The first reason I started to shop there is the community feel. Food has essentially turned into a commodity, not appreciated or enjoyed for its life giving benefits. It’s become about “how cheap can we make it and sell it to the consumer?” Which is really no ones fault. People behind food companies are businessmen and women who need to make money. There is no way were going to feed the 7 billion people in the world on organic produce.
The strange thing however, for the small percentage of the world that take the organic food store approach they figure out ways to re-budget their money and be able to afford some good wholesome food on a regular basis. Everybody in the store including the staff creates a community where you see the same people and have appreciation for what you put in the shopping cart. As a result your happy with what you go home with, and you’re more likely to have appreciation about when you put it in your mouth. I a world of dwindling face-to-face communication and overuse of technology, it is rewarding when you walk into a place where someone can call you by name. The food just starts to taste better. You eat good food because you want to and don’t regard it as something to keep you going in order to save time and increase productivity.
Another reason I shop their is the reduction of pesticides and chemicals found in your food. Don’t get me wrong not everything there is “healthy” or contains more nutrients, but the majority of the products have less poisons and hormones that won’t tend to build up to any toxic levels over time. The chemicals used to treat your apple might not be at any significant level to kill you when you eat it. But after years of 1 apple a day, toxic levels will build in your fat cells and silently wreak havoc on you’re insides.
One argument is that organic foods generally don’t have more nutrients, which is true. Local produce will have the most nutrients, however organic foods won’t fill you with harmful by products at the level found in a generic grocery store.
The final reason I shop their is support the greater good. I’ve noticed even in the last year that prices at these markets are starting to drop. Meat, Vegetables, Chia Seeds and so on. The more people buy in the better. I feel safe knowing that when I pick fair trade products and animals that have actually seen daylight and have been fed real foods I have made some small impact on the world. It’s no secret our world is very polluted and industrialized. If we worry about getting as many commodities as possible and finding the cheapest most processed food, we certainly will contribute to its ultimate demise.
So give it a try! The first few weeks can be considered experimental. You will spend more money trying out different things but eventually you’ll make the most out of it. You’ll be pleased by the friendly staff, and exceptionally surprised how easy it is to find parking.