It is an interesting thought, especially in the midst of the Smithsonian's "Key Ingredients" exhibition at the Chelsea District Library. So I got to thinking, What would I do if I couldn't buy the various boxed and canned goods on my grocery list? And, what would I do if I didn't have access to a big grocery store?
I would venture to guess it would be a healthier way of eating. How would the cost compare? What would be some easy choices? What would be the difficulties?
There are some things me and my family are already doing in this regard to support our local communities:
- Purchase eggs and seasonal produce from the farmer's markets and farm stands (not always, but often in the spring/summer).
- Grow vegetables in our own garden. Just got 12 tomato plants from Merkel Gardens, as a matter of fact!
- Buy Guernsey milk, which is from a dairy in Northville.
- In addition, we almost always dine out in Chelsea, rather than drive out of town.
- Buy meat from the Chelsea Market instead of grocery store. It is much higher quality, and therefore a bit more expensive. But eating less of it would be both a frugal and healthy choice. (The Chelsea Market is located on the corner of Main and Park St. in Chelsea.)
- Choose locally made bread. Mill Pond Bakery just opened up this spring at at 1534 Sugarloaf Lake Rd, just off Waterloo Rd. I bought some bread from them last week, and it was awesome. Comparable to Zingerman's, but less of a drive for us.
- Take note of products made in Michigan, and choose them whenever possible. For example, choose Jiffy products instead of Pilsbury. The Chelsea Milling Company is a major supporter of the Chelsea community. Pilsbury has likely never heard of us.
Links of interest:
- The Directory of Michigan Made Products
- Michigan Farmer's Market Association - list of markets in region 7 (that's SE Michigan)
- Local Harvest - their slogan is "real food, real farmers, real community" and has some nifty tools to help you find where to buy locally grown foods
- Absolute Michigan / Food & Dining
- And last but not least, the blog that inspired this post The Place Where We Live, written by a Monroe, Michigan resident who is challenging herself to only choose locally produced food