Monday, January 25, 2010

100 Mile Monday

Over the weekend I had some discussion about 100 mile meat with my foodie brother. He argued that we are paying too much for our meat, while I argue that the same cuts that we will be getting from the farm are more expensive in the grocery store. He said we are shopping in the wrong stores. That is part of the problem, we have to go to more than one store to do our shopping. Part of this 100 mile madness is to grow more aware of where we are in the chain of consumerism. In short (as my sister put it) we are willing to pay to know where our food is coming from. Plus even though my brother is probably right about our meat supply, it is worth it in the long run because it is going to be delivered right to my door.

Our neighborhood does not have great grocery stores. One which is in walking distance has food delivered in unmarked scary looking box trucks; and while we do go to this grocery store to buy some specialty items we don't do the bulk of our shopping there. We also go to this grocery store to watch the frogs and turtles and fish swim around in the big tanks that make up the seafood section. We don't buy meat here. I don't like the way the meat looks and I don't like that the butcher's apron is dirty from him moving boxes in and out of the store.

There is another market that is a drive away. This store is great for European items as it used to be an Italian import store. The still make their own butter, some cheeses, and tons of pasta on site. In the summer there is a plenitude of garden fresh tomatoes from the store owner's own backyard, and you can buy homemade sauce as well. The rest of the year the produce section is severely lacking, and the meat section is ok, but expensive for what we eat. The store still caters mainly to an older Italian clientele, who as far as I can tell eat only thin sliced chicken cutlets, the occasional steak and lots of sausages. Plus there is no parking lot.

And then there is what Joe calls "the fruit store". This is where we go to get our produce. Which again is hit or miss. Plus the store is always insanely crowded (unless you go right after sundown on friday evenings, but then the place is picked over).

And Costco. Can't forget Costco. What do we buy at Costco? Juiceboxes, animal crackers, sometimes meat if it looks nice, pretzels. Basically the snacks of toddlerhood. And baking supplies!


Shepherdess of the Hills said...

Hi again from your CSA ranchers! Just a question for you and your brother, what kind of meat can you get cheaper? Is it free range, pastured and enjoying all the benefits of outdoor living? If not, the price you pay is really a deflated price brought on by lots of money that is funneled into "big ag".
The money that you invest in our ranch is the Real price of meat, keeping not only animals but also their humans in a sustainable lifestyle not to mention the health perks for all of us who eat well! Thanks again!


regina said...

That's what my argument is in terms of the CSA meat. For the same meat in the store (by same i mean grassfed or organic- i still don't know who is raising the animal etc) we would be paying more...and frankly I'd rather know who is getting my money.

Mary said...

I really like these 100-Mile posts. They're making me more conscious of my own place in my local food chain...

Liz said...

I think you're on to something with these posts too, looking forward to reading them through the year!