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Old 04-08-2009, 12:19 PM   #101
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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?
I am sorry, you make a very good point. Anyway, most of your words are yours, not mine. To touch on just one aspect, if you don't see that marketing plays a big part in the current interst in "green", then there isn't much I could say to you.

I'm 68 now, I started buying food from co-ops, individual farmers, etc. when I was 28. I started growing a lot of my own food about the same time. I have seen how cyclical interest in these things is, and I am not in any way putting people down.

Whenever I can afford it, I buy organic. It's just that I already spend a lot on food, but it is less than my friends and family who buy organic, and I cannot afford the difference. I will pay up a little for organic at TJs, especially for the items where it really matters. Also, I have no freezer.

If you really want to save the world, go to some third or 4th world country and distribute condoms. Population will bury any of this, unless oil prices bury chemical agriculture first. If that happens, you had better hope you are one of the lucky ones who is allowed to eat.

Ha
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:19 PM   #102
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"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""

Actually onions have the lowest pesticide load of any fruit or vegetable, rated as the lowest measurable.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:21 PM   #103
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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.
Looks like we just poked the locally sourced organic honey producing bees' nest here...
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:26 PM   #104
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"Trader Joe's is not that good. I swear that place must have cult magic going on. I should expect a knock at my door anytime now."

If you saw their paychecks, you sign up to join their cult. All the cashiers, the sign artist, and the sample servers are part time employees, but everyone - including the store's general manager - does every job in the store. Its a pretty lean operation, and no one is saddled 100% with the mind numbing tasks.

Why else are they happy?

-the average worker makes $20/hour
-everyone gets health and dental insurance
-the company kicks in 15.4% of salary to their 401(k)
-supervisors and managers receive bonuses
-assistant managers receive a total compensation of about $94k
-store managers receive a total compensation of about $132k

It is also a store in which both the customers and the employees tend to be nice, which is not the case in most grocery stores in my area. Its easier to be happy and cheerful when people are nice to you than when they treat you poorly (imagine how the average cashier feels after eight hours of rude customers).

The cult of Trader Joe's works both ways - workers are loyal and happy, and many customers almost exclusively shop there, as would my financee if I were not to gently reminder of the myriad of cheaper and better options for many competing products.
If only TJ's was bigger i'd shop there more often. As it is, my wife and I go to WHole Foods for most things and a local Organic Store if need something right then.

Whole Foods is opening up large stores where you can come in, shop, have lunch, lounge around and the aisles are big enough to pass around people. Trader Joes stores are tiny and you are always waiting for people to move since the aisles are rarely large enough for more than one person. not worth the trouble. and the selection and prices are pretty bad compared to Whole Foods
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #105
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Hey, I love this ra-ra pseudo environmentalist stuff. It pays the bills for me! The more hoop-jumping the better. A little transaction cost here and there for permits, studies, fees, etc never hurt anything!
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #106
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If you really want to save the world, go to some third or 4th world country and distribute condoms. Population will bury any of this, unless oil prices bury chemical agriculture first. If that happens, you had better hope you are one of the lucky ones who is allowed to eat.
Just make sure the Pope doesn't see you doing this.

And make sure those rubbers are made from rubber and petro-free materials. And don't fly on a plane over to any of the 3rd world countries. That would double your carbon footprint.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:31 PM   #107
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"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""

Actually onions have the lowest pesticide load of any fruit or vegetable, rated as the lowest measurable.
i'm not an expert, but PBS used to have some series about food and one of the organic farmers they interviewed said this is a big thing for them. pesticides will get into the soil and the local water table and neighboring farms will get exposed.

and i've read articles over the years where GMO seeds or pesticides make their way to an organic farm by accident and the whole crop is ruined

my wife and i will go out of our way to buy organic for our son, but for us not that big a deal. almost everything in whole foods is pesticide free even if there is no organic label on it. a lot of farmers don't want to go to the trouble of getting their operation certified organic
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:34 PM   #108
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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).
Whole Foods Market

try the Chimay's or Omerang beer. Chimay's is close to 14% alcohol and based on Belgian beer

i also like St Peter's beer imported from England. I usually get the India Pale Ale.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:39 PM   #109
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I didn't see this really mentioned, but check out Super Walmart. I'm not sure exactly where you live, but I know there are a few supercenters within 30 minutes of your general location. Pretty good deals on produce and most staples. Ex: eggs $1/dozen, apples at $1/lb or some other fruit at $1/lb like grapes or strawberries. And good quality stuff too. Green peppers at $0.68 each (these are usually 2-3x this much at local grocery stores). The Teeter is ridiculously expensive and I wouldn't shop there if you like saving money unless you are really in a pinch.

Another idea for protein: ethnic grocery stores. We have one near us that is a full size, full service grocery store (around 30,000 sf) targeted towards latinos. The meat is good quality based on personal experience, and dirt cheap. $5/lb is the most I've seen any meat that most americans would consume (ribeye, tbone, sirloin, london broil, etc), and some cuts are $2-3/lb. Trimmed neat with very little fat on it generally (depends on cut though).
reason it's not mentioned is a lot of people prefer to eat plants not treated with chemicals that are watered down versions of military chemical weapons or eat meat fed the same growth hormones athletes take

the military developed nerve gas back in the 1930's based on the same chemicals farmers started to use
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #110
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reason it's not mentioned is a lot of people prefer to eat plants not treated with chemicals that are watered down versions of military chemical weapons or eat meat fed the same growth hormones athletes take

the military developed nerve gas back in the 1930's based on the same chemicals farmers started to use
That explains where my herculean biceps, or "guns" as I call them, came from...

That's ok. I'm sure if you pay 2-3x the price for stuff that may (or may not) be free of athlete's roids and military grade nerve gas, then you are probably better off for it!
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #111
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the water's all tainted with perchlorate anyway, so organic or not, we're all doomed...
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #112
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there is a guy, forgot his name that does research into this. he found a town in scandanavia that keeps very good records. he looked at the records and found regular intervals where a generation will have a large amount of people not able to have children. he did some more research and found that in every single case that generation's grandparents had very good harvests and plenty to eat in their lives.

theory is that the pesticides destroy the epigenetic system and it can take 2 generations to see the results. in the case of the USA, we have the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation having high rates of infertility

a lot of research is being done. another study tracks identical twins from birth to old age. they've done genetic analysis and found that the older the twins are the more the genetic code changes. and they have documented cases where one twin takes care of their body and the other one doesn't and they see the proof in the genetic code
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:01 PM   #113
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I am sorry, you make a very good point. Anyway, most of your words are yours, not mine. To touch on just one aspect, if you don't see that marketing plays a big part in the current interst in "green", then there isn't much I could say to you.

I'm 68 now, I started buying food from co-ops, individual farmers, etc. when I was 28. I started growing a lot of my own food about the same time. I have seen how cyclical interest in these things is, and I am not in any way putting people down.

Whenever I can afford it, I buy organic. It's just that I already spend a lot on food, but it is less than my friends and family who buy organic, and I cannot afford the difference. I will pay up a little for organic at TJs, especially for the items where it really matters. Also, I have no freezer.

If you really want to save the world, go to some third or 4th world country and distribute condoms. Population will bury any of this, unless oil prices bury chemical agriculture first. If that happens, you had better hope you are one of the lucky ones who is allowed to eat.

Ha
I understand where you're coming from, especially from the standpoint of "green" products. There are actually much better and safer (fewer chemicals)alternative products in many cases than the green products offered, but simply b/c a company puts "green" or "safe" on the product (cleaning products for example) people will buy it. I agree with you 100% there. There are also plenty of people as another poster suggested who carry a smugness about them when talking about their diet and food-buying habits. It CAN be part of a larger identity they aspire to or identify with.

But with food specifically, I think there are a lot of reasons why people eat what they eat and buy what they buy. Some of it is identity and/or holier-than-thou driven behavior. And others simply research the issues and feel compelled to buy locally and organic. My wife is a vegan who only eats organic. But it's not because she believes eating meat is immoral and that people who eat non-organic veggies are low-brow. Her health is such that being a vegan eating non-pesticide grown fruits and veggies is what works for her. I personally like to meet farmers in our area, get to know them (and get deals) and support my community. I don't feel a sense of being holier-than-thou than anyone else, thoguh. But I do understand your points and I do understand that many people who buy organic and talk about carbon footprints carry with them a sense of superiority. But just don't paint us all with that same brush even though our food-buying/eating behavior may be similar.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #114
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:36 PM   #115
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I am not a food snob. (At least I don't consider myself as one.) I do, however, try to shop with some rules.

No products with high fructose corn syrup (it's getting easier to find things without it more and more. It used to be almost impossible.) since I read some time ago that high fructose corn syrup makes you insulin-resistent (make you more susceptible to getting diabetes.)

No products with partially hydrogenated oils

Restricted polyunsaturated oil (most veg oil) consumption (high in Omega-6)

Buy butter made from grassfed cattle (I cannot find these even at Whole Foods, so I get it at a reasonable price online - the taste is superb and more nutritious (more VitA/beta-carotine) - the taste reminds me of the butter I used to eat/use when I was a kid. Do a taste test with some non grassfed butter. The difference is huge IMO.)

Avoid farmed salmon (they feed grains and such that wild salmons won't eat, so the composition of the farmed salmon is full of Omega-6 and some dye to make the color pink. I heard farmed salmons in some countries like Norway are feed algea and such that wild salmons eat, but not in US that I am aware of.)

No hormone injected beef and no antibiotic pumped chicken.

Having said all this, I still eat out and I never ask any questions regarding their ingredients. MSG, hydrogenated, etc, etc all go into my system and I am OK with it. (I don't eat out a whole lot anyway.)

I wonder a lot about organic produce and meats and what they all mean. The eggs I used to eat when I was a kid - the yolks were almost orange in color (more green feed?) that I see in eggs now - organic or not. Same with butter (unless grassfed.) The organic tomatoes at stores taste just like tomatos at Safeway - sometimes better than Safeway, but nothing like the tomatoes I grow myself (maybe they pick the organic ones green just like the non-organic ones for transport?) I'm sure many people eat organic foods because they use no pesticides, but I am not sold on doing it for the taste or for better nutrition.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:33 PM   #116
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I am not a food snob. (At least I don't consider myself as one.) I do, however, try to shop with some rules.

No products with high fructose corn syrup (it's getting easier to find things without it more and more. It used to be almost impossible.) since I read some time ago that high fructose corn syrup makes you insulin-resistent (make you more susceptible to getting diabetes.)

No products with partially hydrogenated oils

Restricted polyunsaturated oil (most veg oil) consumption (high in Omega-6)

Buy butter made from grassfed cattle (I cannot find these even at Whole Foods, so I get it at a reasonable price online - the taste is superb and more nutritious (more VitA/beta-carotine) - the taste reminds me of the butter I used to eat/use when I was a kid. Do a taste test with some non grassfed butter. The difference is huge IMO.)

Avoid farmed salmon (they feed grains and such that wild salmons won't eat, so the composition of the farmed salmon is full of Omega-6 and some dye to make the color pink. I heard farmed salmons in some countries like Norway are feed algea and such that wild salmons eat, but not in US that I am aware of.)

No hormone injected beef and no antibiotic pumped chicken.

Having said all this, I still eat out and I never ask any questions regarding their ingredients. MSG, hydrogenated, etc, etc all go into my system and I am OK with it. (I don't eat out a whole lot anyway.)

I wonder a lot about organic produce and meats and what they all mean. The eggs I used to eat when I was a kid - the yolks were almost orange in color (more green feed?) that I see in eggs now - organic or not. Same with butter (unless grassfed.) The organic tomatoes at stores taste just like tomatos at Safeway - sometimes better than Safeway, but nothing like the tomatoes I grow myself (maybe they pick the organic ones green just like the non-organic ones for transport?) I'm sure many people eat organic foods because they use no pesticides, but I am not sold on doing it for the taste or for better nutrition.
I recall thinking didn't taste as good as it did when I was young, and dismissed it as getting old; then I started buying chicken from local folks, and it did taste like chickens grandparents' raised.

I don't worry too much about organic, but I do prefer minimal hormones, antibiotics...
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #117
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I am not a food snob. (At least I don't consider myself as one.) I do, however, try to shop with some rules.

No products with high fructose corn syrup (it's getting easier to find things without it more and more. It used to be almost impossible.) since I read some time ago that high fructose corn syrup makes you insulin-resistent (make you more susceptible to getting diabetes.)

No products with partially hydrogenated oils

Restricted polyunsaturated oil (most veg oil) consumption (high in Omega-6)

Buy butter made from grassfed cattle (I cannot find these even at Whole Foods, so I get it at a reasonable price online - the taste is superb and more nutritious (more VitA/beta-carotine) - the taste reminds me of the butter I used to eat/use when I was a kid. Do a taste test with some non grassfed butter. The difference is huge IMO.)

Avoid farmed salmon (they feed grains and such that wild salmons won't eat, so the composition of the farmed salmon is full of Omega-6 and some dye to make the color pink. I heard farmed salmons in some countries like Norway are feed algea and such that wild salmons eat, but not in US that I am aware of.)

No hormone injected beef and no antibiotic pumped chicken.
Interesting - I follow all of these same rules myself, except for the butter from grassfed cattle (I will have to ask you where to get that online).

In addition to these shopping rules, we also harvest several deer each year to supply a good portion of our meat needs (good lean meat, with no hormones), and grow a big vegetable garden. I buy virtually no vegetables from the store from about June through November, it all comes from the garden.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:55 PM   #118
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If you want grassfed butter, buy Irish or French butter. Quite tasty.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:55 PM   #119
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Interesting - I follow all of these same rules myself, except for the butter from grassfed cattle (I will have to ask you where to get that online).

In addition to these shopping rules, we also harvest several deer each year to supply a good portion of our meat needs (good lean meat, with no hormones), and grow a big vegetable garden. I buy virtually no vegetables from the store from about June through November, it all comes from the garden.
Many of the people I know who have gardens also wish they could harvest the deer all through the growing season, as much of the garden ends up inside the deer. How do you keep the deer at bay?
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #120
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I get my grassfed butter from
Grass-Fed Butter - Grass-Fed Traditions

I am sure you can get this brand (PastureLand) and other brands from different sites, but this is the one I use.

Happy tasting!

tmm
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