Maybe you love the supermarket. Maybe you hate it. Or maybe you haven’t thought about it. It’s just where we have to go to buy our food, right? No matter how you feel, I’m going to share another option with you.

To me, the supermarket means decision fatigue, dodging disgruntled shoppers, wondering whether coupons or double points is the better deal, then realizing I left my coupons at home. Translating the labels, certifications and marketing claims, and then of course, deciding what to do about ingredients I don’t recognize. All the while, never knowing for sure whether I’m actually feeding my family what I think I’m feeding them. It all feels like a silly game. A necessary evil. 

The Power of Food

Since marrying my husband six years ago, I’ve paid more attention to the quality of food we eat. I’ve studied how the body works and how the quality of the food we eat works either for or against us. Food can heal or food can damage; the difference is in the quality. Knowing that, I began buying organic food at the grocery store, and we upped our food budget to accommodate it. I believed it was worth it. 

Then I learned about soil, and how the health of the soil determines the nutrient-density of the food, which determines whether we’re feeding our bodies nutrition or not. I knew that much of the non-organic (conventional) food contains harmful ingredients or residue from pesticides, but I didn’t know that organic supermarket food was grown in similar ways to conventional farming. It’s grown in mass quantities without much concern for soil health. In other words, I was avoiding the bad stuff, but also wasn’t necessarily getting the good stuff that our bodies need to thrive.

And if you don’t know where the meat on supermarket shelves comes from, I’d strongly encourage you to look into how those animals are raised, what they’re fed and how frequently they have to be medicated just to stay alive. 

I also learned that many of the food brands sold in the supermarket are owned by the same people that own many of the biggest pharmaceutical and medical brands. This is brilliant for business, but maybe not for my family’s health.  

Local Farmers

I didn’t enjoy the supermarket. And then I realized the quality of the food wasn’t necessarily what I thought I was getting, so I had my out. I began the hunt for local farmers who had a different approach and was surprised to find that Colorado Springs has many farmers who practice regenerative farming. This means they focus on soil health and understand the importance of ecological diversity and clean growing practices for a healthy planet, healthy food, healthy quality of life, and most importantly, healthy people. 

For every dollar spent on food in the grocery store, the farmer who grew it earns fourteen cents. For every dollar spent on food directly from a local farmer, that farmer earns one whole dollar. Isn’t it in our best interest to keep farmers in business? Can you imagine how robust and self-sufficient our city would be if most of us bought at least some of our food from a local provider? In times of crisis, we’d be calm.

This transition is not easy to make, but it is doable. It takes work, and it is good, worthwhile work. In the next post, I’ll share ideas on how to go local, and then I’ll share some favorite local farms! 

supermarket

This post is the first in a three-part series about buying local food. The other two pieces are titled: "How To Buy Local Food" and "A Local Food Guide: Colorado Springs Favorites." Enjoy!
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Anna likes to think she’s rooted in the Wild, Wild West, as she was born in California and grew up in Colorado. She married a big-bearded Texan, and together they have a two-year-old daughter and a son due to arrive Summer 2018. She’s an easy crier, particularly when it comes to beautiful stories about people with a lot of heart, a lot of courage or a lot of character. Motherhood has affected her deeply and reinforced the importance of creating a life of intentionality and joy. She and her husband Chris love a good story, a good laugh, and a good song. You can find her on Instagram @annaclonts.