Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Organics...local if possible. Why we eat the way we do.

Somehow, my family and I have been tagged as “foodies.” We don’t think we’re “foodies,” but we are fairly picky about where our food comes from and the manner in which it is raised. Several years ago, we were about as processed and mainstream as the rest of America. We started down this path with our food when we discovered that some additives in our food were affecting our childrens’ behavior. When my oldest son was young we removed all artificial colors, flavors, and petroleum based preservatives from our kitchen. At the time it was hard and options were slim in our community. Through trying to source the best food for our family we learned more and more about where our food in this country comes from. We learned about the relationship between the petroleum industry and trucking food across the country to markets. We learned about mass farming and CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations - feedlots) and what the condensing of farms into massive industrial farms has done to the small family farmers. We learned about genetically modified plants being patented by chemical companies so their pesticides and herbicides work better and the way these companies drive small farmers who farm the “old” way out of business with intimidation and lawsuits. We learned about the way the USDA doesn’t protect the small farms, the local operations, or even encourage the growth of organics. Lastly, we became conscious of the way the US economic policies sometimes favor puppet regimes in foreign countries because of the revenue stream generated by the export crop of said small country.
We knew we wanted organic food to the largest extent it was available, but we live 48 miles from the closest large organic/natural food store. Our local natural food stores were carrying processed, canned, and frozen foods that still really didn’t meet our standard for “real” food. Our family signed up for a CSA only a few miles from our house and we still love their vegetables, but we needed access to fruits and need fresh food all year, not just in the summer. We were so excited to find out about Michigan Door to Door Organics from a friend. We signed up for our first delivery and were very excited for our our weekly boxes of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. We knew we wanted local food as much as possible, and realized that most of the food we were getting was not from within 500 miles of our home. I filled in the “contact us” section of the Door to Door Organics website and requested more local produce and also informed them that I would be willing to purchase local grassfed meats from them as well if they could source them. I received a pleasant reply from Door to Door that they were working on it and to keep my eyes open. Imagine my pleasure last year when they began sourcing summer vegetables from one of our state’s largest and most well known CSA farms, The Eater’s Guild. Over the winter they added grassfed beef and later pork from Graham’s Organic Meats. Door to Door Organics has exceeded our standards in every way, and every request I’ve made of them has been brought to fruition. Last week Door to Door Organics began carrying organic breads, made in Detroit at Avalon International Breads, and I couldn’t be more happy with this new partnership. This is one less thing I need to buy from a faceless big business more concerned with the bottom line than the needs of it’s customers. If I could locally buy raw organic dairy products from grassfed cows at a reasonable price, I would never walk into a grocery store again. 
We require organic food, free from genetically modified organisms, chemicals, and minimally processed. We believe in local business, local people and personal relationships with the people who provide our food. We prefer to give our hard earned dollars to people who grow or produce our food instead of to middlemen and the petroleum industry. If that makes us “foodies,” So be it. 

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