Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some Grocery Shopping tips

Everyone needs to eat. Very few people have the time to grow their own produce. Here is where farmers come in. Farmers grow the food we eat.

The problem with the current situation is that most everyone purchases produce from a grocery store. This is usually bad because most the produce from grocery stores are grown in foreign countries and harsh toxic chemicals were used to grow that produce. Then you have the pollution from transporting the produce from those foreign countries and the fact that it is almost guaranteed that the workers of the farms were not paid a fair wage.

This is where local farmers markets come in handy. A local farmers market is where local farmers come to sell their produce to local people. You can go to these markets to find super fresh very tasty produce at good prices. Look for produce that was grown organically at these markets. By shopping at a local farmers market for produce, you directly prevent an enormous amount of pollution. You also directly prevent you and your family from being exposed to toxic chemicals. You also will be helping your local economy! With all these benefits and more, why would anyone shop for produce anywhere else than their local farmers market?

What about meat? My belief is that meat should not be eaten at all. You can get your needed protein from beans, hemp seed and soy products. By purchasing Beef, you are directly contributing to the destruction of huge amounts of forest (usually rain forests) and you are directly contributing to vast amounts of pollution and animal cruelty. Raising cattle creates a lot of pollution. Cattle must have a lot of land to roam on which usually means forests must be cut down. Cattle require a lot of food which means a lot of farmers will grow corn and other cattle food crops just to feed the cows. Then that corn and food must be transported to the cattle farms to feed the cattle. Then you have all the gasses and pollution the cows themselves make. Eating beef is just wrong and is not worth it. Chicken? If you have ever seen a commercial chicken coup, you will see they are very inhumane. The chickens are packed together where they can barely move. They are fed a diet of corn and hormones to make them grow as fast as possible with the least amount of food. Then they are usually killed in an inhumane way. Then you have all the pollution from the chickens themselves, the slaughter of the chickens, the feed of the chickens, the transportation and processing of the chickens. You get the idea. Chicken is also not worth it. Sorry meat eaters. Eating meat is also bad for you. Why? All the chemicals used to make the livestock grow faster stays in the meat and then you eat it. Then there are the antibiotics used in the livestock. Plus you are exposed to the pollution involved with the raising, slaughter, processing, distribution of said meat. If you cook tofu just right with the right seasoning's, it can taste a lot like meat. However I still say just stop eating meat. When I was younger, I would eat a lot of meat all the time. Now I don't eat meat. I stopped eating meat because I know I will be healthier, I will be contributing to the environment and I will be directly preventing some pollution. You have the power, you can do it too. Also did you know, if all "livestock feed farms" were converted to grow food for humans only, there would be enough food to feed every human on earth?

Sorry about the long paragraph above, needed to get it out.

There are other things you need to keep in mind when shopping. Go out and get your own organic hemp grocery bags. Yes it costs money but it will prevent the use of plastic or paper bags at the grocery store, hence helping the environment. Why hemp? Hemp is an eco-friendly plant. If grown organically, it is even better. Since hemp is illegal to grow in the United States, the hemp has to be imported. This is not avoidable until we the people change the laws on the books here in the USA. Why is hemp so special? So where can you purchase some organic hemp bags? Here is a link where you can purchase an organic hemp bag. Here is another place to get an organic hemp bag. Here is a Google Search for Organic Hemp Grocery Bag. When shopping for a hemp bag, be sure it is 100% organic hemp. How many bags will you need to get? It depends. Make sure to get enough bags to put all your groceries in. If you want, you can buy more than you need so you will have enough. A good estimate for the average family is between 5-30 bags depending on the size of the bag. Small bags you will need more of, larger bags you will need less of.

Some more tips:
* Try to drive as little as possible getting to your local farmers market. If it is far away, carpool with neighbours who also need to purchase some produce.
* During summer, be sure to purchase produce and can, dry, freeze or in some way preserve the produce for winter. This will allow you to have good produce during winter when it is out of season without having to purchase produce from outside the country.
* Always use reusable bags (preferably organic hemp) when doing any kind of shopping. Never use the plastic or paper bags at stores.
* Reduce your needs. Most of the things people buy when shopping aren't needed. Only buy what you NEED.
* Buy only recycled toilet paper and paper towels.
* Don't buy sodas. Sodas are bad and there is a lot of waste and pollution associated with the production and distribution of soda. Drink tea, coffee (only organic) or water instead.
* If you like tea, grow your own tea ingredients. Obviously you most likely can't grow black tea but you can grow herbal ingredients for tea like mint, chamomile, etc. When it comes to coffee, be very careful to only purchase coffee you know is fair trade and coffee that was grown in an environmentally friendly way.
* Avoid the purchase of items not made locally. If there is something you need that isn't made locally, only buy products made in your country.
* Never ever fall for advertisements. Advertisements are only meant to make you buy things you don't need. You don't need lipstick, you don't need special skin firming lotion, you don't need special baby diapers. I will cover this more in a later post.
* Compost any waste food (not meat). You can also compost waste paper towels. Use finished compost for your garden or give it away to others.

NOTE: This post may be edited in the future to add new content, correct errors and so forth.