I am so happy I started buying local! Especially with the new vaccine mandates the government is pushing onto the private sector businesses. The costs are a bit higher but I think the improvement in food quality is worth the effort.
My area has a lot of ranches, orchards, farms and dairies and it seems you have to find at least one local food supplier of some sort “IN”, then you start finding a network of suppliers that direct you to suppliers of other products you need. I really like how the city of Caldwell Idaho has has worked with local producers to make a map and promote the local farms, wineries that offer local food and even over night accommodations to spend a weekend at a “farm”. If you want to start buying local you should do a web search for “buy Local” and your location. I found a few dead web links but once you find one site selling locally they often lead you to other sites offering different products. Of course your local farmer’s market is another great place to start finding local producers.
This is my week to pick up my grass fed 1/8th of beef from a local ranch. While the price is higher than what I generally pay at the local mega-mart. I have found since inflation is really starting to hit the supply chain the cost difference between locally grown meat and veggies is shrinking significantly. Just a couple of weeks ago a local market had Organic locally grown leaf lettuce for the same price as Regular leaf lettuce in my local Albertsons grocery store. Of course prices will be lower based on the season but I think that now more than ever you can buy much higher quality food stuffs for about the same price as you can get at your local mega-mart.
I am loving the Raw milk being delivered to my door every couple of weeks! I go through a couple of half gallons in those 2 weeks so I freeze the milk in pint jars so the milk does not go bad during that two week period. Plus if the roads get nasty this winter I don’t have to go to the store for milk as I have set up the delivery. Yeah it is kinda retro getting milk bottles on your door step and the cost is bit more than grabbing a jug a milk at the mega-mart. But I get real unpasteurized milk straight from the moo and I love it!
At the local farmers market stand I can get a much better price on veggies. Local mega-mart is selling 4 cobs of corn for $4.00. At my local market stand I get 12 cobs of corn for $4.00. I get almost 2 pounds of green beans for $2.00 a bag as opposed to paying $2.00 for just one pound of green beans at the local mega-mart.
I’m not telling you to shop exclusively local food providers. I will be buying some chicken thighs and pork chops from Albertsons for .99 cents per pound. For myself and Mom. But I think you should start now getting local food suppliers lined up and vetted that provide good quality stuff at a reasonable price. Plus with going local you make contacts and become a real person rather than just another customer. I have always loved shopping at local stores because you can get that service that is specific to you and you seemed valued. Not to knock the bigger stores as I have got the same sort of treatment and some of the Mega-marts but the mega-marts are always limited by cooperate rules. The smaller markets/shops you are more often dealing with the owner or one degree of separation from the owner. Being a polite customer is rewarded at the local level. Being an asshole customer is rewarded at a cooperate level.