Image by Nature Hills Farm By Jennifer Hunt, Contributing Writer Have you ever wondered why a farmer’s market is important? The produce is delicious, but is there any real value other than the novelty of enjoying a Saturday morning at a vegetable stand? Heather Carter, farmer extraordinaire, answers a few questions about the value of Read More
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There is nothing like a fresh, ripe peach. I have made no secret of the fact that peaches, when fresh, are my favorite fruit to eat. All fruits and vegetables are better in season, but those are just amazing, to me. Since our theme this month is “local,” I want to talk about the foods Read More
This is a guest post by Jill York of Jill’s Home Remedies. Within the past few months, I have realized the need to add avocados to my diet. From good heart health to fighting cancer, this fruit has given me more than one good reason to add them to my “super foods” list. When eaten Read More
Image by s.wood79 **This post has been entered in Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade!** Most of us buy organic foods, because they’re safer than conventional — they don’t contain harmful pesticides or GMO ingredients. But realistically, when we’re buying organic foods from a standard grocery store, how much do we really know about them? Read More
Image by RetailMania By: Jennifer, Contributing Writer I can’t tell you the last time I set foot inside a real grocery store. Even though we live within easy walking distance of a large Kroger, I can count on one hand (with fingers to spare) the number of times I’ve been there in the five years Read More
Today’s post is a guest post that comes to us from Wendy of The Local Cook. Her goal is to cook entirely local, seasonal foods as she cooks her way through a seasonal cookbook (you can learn more about her mission by visiting her blog). Since she’s the “local” cook, CSAs are one of her specialties! Today she’s telling you all about how to use a CSA to its fullest! Here she is:
Yesterday I touched on farmer’s markets. But they are such an important resource that I need to expand on them.
The local farmer’s market, if you have one, is your BEST resource for locally grown, seasonal food. Many local farmers will come to the same place at the same time and set up booths to sell what they’ve grown or produced. There will be a TON of options for you, all in one (hopefully) convenient location. It’s certainly more convenient than driving to all those farms individually!
There is no one that I know in the “real food world” who disagrees with this. Farmer’s markets are starting to pop up all over the place, as are websites and other guides to finding local food. Hopefully this post will point you to some of those sources now.
So. Is eating real food REALLY more expensive? And if so, how much? Is it realistically doable on an average budget? In case you haven’t been convinced yet by the family profiles and other awesome money-saving tips (and there are more to come!), I’ve chosen an average menu for 3 days to feed a family of 4. I’m going to look at the cost of eating real food vs. packaged, processed food using the same menu.
First, here’s our menu:
Several bloggers have done excellent posts on this. Since life happened and I didn’t get this posted when I had intended, I’m going to summarize this a bit briefly and point you to some excellent articles on other blogs.
When we’re talking about sticking to a budget in real life, the truth is, we’re going to have to make some compromises. While it would be ideal to eat only organic foods, top-quality meats, local foods, etc. it is not always possible. Perhaps some options are not available. Perhaps any top-quality alternatives are too expensive. However, some substitutes are better than others.
Today’s post was supposed to be on strawberry picking. But unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pictures of our recent trip, because Ben has been out of town this week (he’s back now, and we missed him!) and took the camera with him.