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Old 04-07-2009, 07:17 PM   #81
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One other thing about TJ's - they no longer sell anything from China.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:17 PM   #82
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My food budget is about the only thing I haven't tried to squeeze yet. DW likes to make frequent small trips up the street to Hannafords (expensive). I really need to start shopping at the commissary more. Their dairy, frozen food and meat are cheap!

Produce is hit or miss, mostly miss (at least at my commissary). Milk at $1.96 a gallon too. Its a small commissary so not a lot of variety but most things go for 50 cents less than Hannaford. Some are half priced (Tyson chix nuggets, DDs favorite, $2.50 vs. Hannaford $5.29).

Ahhh... my point: IF you qualify to use the commissary give it a try!
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:26 PM   #83
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We have been spending about $750 per month on food and other necessities from the grocery store. Family of 4. Does that sound high?

Not extremely ! We spend just under $400 a month for two people . That includes everything food ,cleaning supplies , paper goods , toothpaste and wine .
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:39 PM   #84
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My food budget is about the only thing I haven't tried to squeeze yet. DW likes to make frequent small trips up the street to Hannafords (expensive). I really need to start shopping at the commissary more. Their dairy, frozen food and meat are cheap!

Produce is hit or miss, mostly miss (at least at my commissary). Milk at $1.96 a gallon too. Its a small commissary so not a lot of variety but most things go for 50 cents less than Hannaford. Some are half priced (Tyson chix nuggets, DDs favorite, $2.50 vs. Hannaford $5.29).

Ahhh... my point: IF you qualify to use the commissary give it a try!
Wow great price on the milk. Think I pay 2.99 a gallon here.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #85
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"One other thing about TJ's - they no longer sell anything from China."

While not everything from China is bad, and not everything from other places is good, this highlights a valid point: dollar cost should not be the only motivating factor in food choice. If cost is the only factor, we have no right to complain about quality.

I buy much of my meat from a grass farmer in upstate NY - the price is great, the lipid profile is much healthier, I'm supporting relatively close by locally owned business, and it actually tastes like meat. I pick and choose vegetables based on what I like and the relative impact on the environment. I tend to only buy organic when it makes sense - oftentimes "organic" can only be grown 3,000 miles away and while technically meeting the definition of organic may be just as harmful to the planet. And it makes absolutely no sense to buy organic onions, garlic or avocados when these have virtually no pesticide content.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:35 AM   #86
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I tend to only buy organic when it makes sense - oftentimes "organic" can only be grown 3,000 miles away and while technically meeting the definition of organic may be just as harmful to the planet. And it makes absolutely no sense to buy organic onions, garlic or avocados when these have virtually no pesticide content.
Absolutely right. Too many people think organic means "local" and it is nothing of the sort. I once got this pasta from China that was certified organic and kosher. Now I ask you, is a rabbi overseeing the production of the pasta?
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #87
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Now I ask you, is a rabbi overseeing the production of the pasta?
I agree. It sounds suspicious but on what basis w/could you dispute it? Are there some laws that require foods with a Kosher label be genuinely inspected? Or is this more of the same ol same ol deception in our food chain?
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:49 AM   #88
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You "local buyers" amaze me at your ability to understand the entire supply chain for a head of lettuce or a bunch of grapes. How do you really know the carbon footprint or pollutant quantity for a particular item? Example: commercial farm grown strawberries from California versus local greenhouse grown strawberries. Do you somehow do an energy audit of each production method and their entire supply chain and come to a conclusion based on the lesser of two evils? Does driving all over town in your carbon-based fuel burning vehicle factor into the equation?

Example: I buy a pound of beef from walmart and it is responsible for 1/60,000 of the fuel consumed to transport it to the walmart. Then it may be responsible for another 1/50 of my fuel to/from the walmart. Instead I could drive 10x as far to get only my beef "locally" and accept a different carbon footprint. Then store the 9 lbs of it that I can't consume immediately in my new deep freezer (that consumes electricity part of which is produced by combustion of carbon based fuels). Which is the lesser evil? How does one really do the thousands or millions of calculations required for each shopping trip??!! To each their own I suppose.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:53 AM   #89
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Unfortunately, we live in the NE with their ridiculous blue laws, so we have no chance at getting 2 buck chuck or micro brews. However, I love TJ's for their cheeses, nuts and stuff you can't find elsewhere (like peapods).
That reminded me of the last time I called TJ's to verify their hours of operation. I asked when they are open on Sunday, and was told 9am to 9pm every day of the week. Right as I was hanging up, the guy helpfully reminded me that they cannot sell beer or wine before noon on Sundays. Silly me, I forgot that the ten hours between 2 am and 12 noon on Sundays is God's ten hours and as such alcohol cannot be sold. But the TJ's guy knew I was coming in their to get some beer and/or wine (as virtually everyone does while shopping there). Very perceptive and helpful since I would have been pissed if I couldn't buy my alcohol when I want to.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #90
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You "local buyers" amaze me at your ability to understand the entire supply chain for a head of lettuce or a bunch of grapes. How do you really know the carbon footprint or pollutant quantity for a particular item?
I guess everyone just does his or her best, but you are right that it can be incredibly complex.

As for me - - I buy locally grown fruits and vegetables mostly to support the local economy and because they taste better to me. But I only buy them when they are available in the grocery store that I pass every day, on my way home from work.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:57 AM   #91
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You "local buyers" amaze me at your ability to understand the entire supply chain for a head of lettuce or a bunch of grapes. How do you really know the carbon footprint or pollutant quantity for a particular item?
It's mainly just one more secular religion. All the organic/local/sustainable/blah blah blah appears to me to be something involving religion, plain old marketing, and herding.

I have learned not to give my opinion on this circus unless I know that my companion has similarly heretical views.

Ha
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:15 AM   #92
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And it makes absolutely no sense to buy organic onions, garlic or avocados when these have virtually no pesticide content.
Randyman, I agree with a lot of your post, but I think that purchasing organic produce in general makes a lot of sense, because the benefits of organic agriculture extend beyond the consumer of the produce. It's not just about me, it's about the birds and the bees, too, and the farmworkers who apply the pesticides (and carry it home on their clothes to their children), and the water that receives the runoff from the fields. I'd like all of those things to live lives without the burden of pesticide toxicity.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:17 AM   #93
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I agree. It sounds suspicious but on what basis w/could you dispute it? Are there some laws that require foods with a Kosher label be genuinely inspected? Or is this more of the same ol same ol deception in our food chain?

There was a really interesting article in The New Yorker about just this -- rabbis who travel to China several weeks out of a month to inspect factories and make sure their production is in line with Kosher principles, so that the food can carry a kosher label. There's an abstract of the article here: Letter from China: Kosher Takeout: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:34 AM   #94
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We "local buyers" very often know precisely where our food comes from. We also know that it is impossible to grow organic strawberries for more than a few weeks in the northeast. I can point to the field where my corn was grown, I can pinpoint on a map the grass farm where my beef comes from. I can also point to a map in Kansas where Walmart's beef was probably corn-fed prior to slaughter, can point to the huge ponds of pig crap in North Carolina which supplies their porkchops, and can point to the NPK fertilizer plants turning fossil fuels into plant food, and can point to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where ferilizer runnoff into the Mississippi ends up. So yes, I have considered the lifecycle of my food and have incorporated it into the choices I make.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:55 AM   #95
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One place you can go get organic veggies/fruit (if you are so inclined) is CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. You usually don't have any choice in what veggies/fruit you get since it's all seasonal and depending upon what the farmers grow. You basically sign a contract with a farm/farmer for a certain time period to get the veggies/fruit from them. (They usually have a drop-off point and you go get the box at the drop-off site yourself once a week.) It is pretty poplular where I live (Nothern CA). With this method, you know exactly where your veggies/fruit come from and they will answer any questions regarding their fertilizer usage, etc, etc. Mine used to email weekly newsletters with recipes too.

Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food

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Old 04-08-2009, 12:02 PM   #96
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This is where I used to get the veggies from (just so you can see what a CSA may look like where I'm at. I did two different CSA's at different times, and one had veggies/fruit. With this one you could get veggies/flowers.)

Two Small Farms
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:04 PM   #97
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It's mainly just one more secular religion. All the organic/local/sustainable/blah blah blah appears to me to be something involving religion, plain old marketing, and herding.

I have learned not to give my opinion on this circus unless I know that my companion has similarly heretical views.

Ha
Secular religion? Herding? Which has the larger population of people buying from them, local organic farmers or big box grocery stores? Because I prefer to buy from local farmers where I can go to their farm, see their operation and support my local economy, I'm part of some mindless mob following a marketing ploy? A bit harsh don't you think? If you choose to buy your food from a large grocery store or Wal-Mart, I don't care. Why do you hold such a negative view of those who choose to buy their food differently than you?
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:10 PM   #98
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I would actually tend to agree with HaHa, even though I take the effort to intentionally shop. Very often, those who choose a particular dietary path can be very cultish about it to the point of smugness. I don't think that I've ever heard an omnivore act superior to a vegetarian, but the marjority of vegetarians I've encountered feel very superior about their dietary choice, and are not afraid to let others know about it.

On another board someone had asked what their favorite coffee was. My response was Kenya AA. Someone else's response was "organic fair trade coffee". One response gave a real answer to the question. The other response only served to illustrates someone's personal belief system in an obnoxious manner.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:17 PM   #99
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"One other thing about TJ's - they no longer sell anything from China."

While not everything from China is bad, and not everything from other places is good, this highlights a valid point: dollar cost should not be the only motivating factor in food choice. If cost is the only factor, we have no right to complain about quality.

I buy much of my meat from a grass farmer in upstate NY - the price is great, the lipid profile is much healthier, I'm supporting relatively close by locally owned business, and it actually tastes like meat. I pick and choose vegetables based on what I like and the relative impact on the environment. I tend to only buy organic when it makes sense - oftentimes "organic" can only be grown 3,000 miles away and while technically meeting the definition of organic may be just as harmful to the planet. And it makes absolutely no sense to buy organic onions, garlic or avocados when these have virtually no pesticide content.
pesticides will get into soil and infect neighboring farms. any root veggies like onions will suck them up from the soil. Part of the organic requirements is to keep your soil free of pesticides. if you follow the USDA guidelines then it takes 3 years to turn your farm to be "organic"
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:19 PM   #100
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someone's personal belief system in an obnoxious manner.
That describes the Internet as a whole... and, as far as that goes, television too -- particularly the "News" programs.
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