As we left the farmers market today my daughter said- lets see if we can not go to Whole Foods for a month. Our nearly daily trips to Whole Foods do slow down somewhat during the summer months when we are producing more in our own garden, getting food from our CSA share and we have farmers market that we can get food from almost everyday of the week. However, even during the summer months we do go to Whole Foods at least a few times a week to buy nuts, cleaning products, spelt flour, west coast cherries, brown rice sushi as an after school snack, sea salt, flax seeds……
Without hesitation I answered yes. Now I am considering why I immediately embraced the idea. I am attracted to the idea that food purchases will be thought about. Most items will require a visit to an individual store. Therefore just for the sake of convenience anything that can be gotten at the farmers market will be. For example I adore cherries but they will be in season locally quite soon, In the meantime I can eat local strawberries and apples that are plentiful and flavorful at this moment. Although I do eat primarily local when possible I will cut out all fruits and vegetables that are not immediately available at local markets.
Another motivation is variety. We eat a large variety of beans, grains, nuts and seeds. Generally we purchase them at Whole Foods. I always mean to stop at the many Ethiopian markets in my neighborhood to pick up yellow lentils, teff flour and other ingredients but I usually grab them at Whole Foods for the sake of one stop shopping. Going to small markets we will try something new.
I like supporting my small neighborhood stores. I know that at a new store within easy walking distance carries the same ecologically friendly cleaning products that I usually purchase at Whole Foods. When I buy detergent at the small store I will ask the people working there about the products. We will have the opportunity to learn why the product we choose is different from a similar main stream product. I am interested in this information and would like to know instead of just buying something and assuming that it is good just because Whole Foods decided to carry it.
Inevitably frequent visits to small shops in my neighborhood will strengthen bonds with the people in my community. We will share information an inevitably learn more about the products that we use, the food that we ingest and the individuals that live and work near our home.
We have not made “rules” about where we will shop. We are busy and need to eat the best food we can. The gathering of food and other products we use needs to work for us in our lives. Instead this pause will hopefully just bring another layer of consciousness to decisions about what we are eating and buying.
I will make note of where we find various items and what unfolds.