Friday, February 10, 2012

Dispelling the Money Myth at the Farmer's Market

I've written about the positive aspects of supporting your local farmer's markets before. My reasons run the gamut from supporting local growers to getting food fresh and not stocked with longevity-enhancing preservatives and all the other ethical rigamarole. Many people typically agree with me on that end but every now and again I get someone who tells me that farmer's markets and organic foods are so expensive as an excuse to why they are still slave to their Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Don't get me wrong, I too can't live without my weekly visit to Whole Foods but buying food from farmer's markets and organic farms is simply not as expensive anymore as it once was a decade ago when the concepts were flushed into the mainstream scene and prices were in ratio to the very low demand. Nowadays, it's definitely worth a trip to stock up on items you can't readily find elsewhere that are going to cost you a lot less than you would expect.

Here let me prove it. This morning's bounty included:

Radish and Mung Bean Sprouts that will last over a month's worth of salads = $4
Would be hard pressed to find these in the grocery store.
Bought from a man who also delivered up a $1.50 wheat grass shot, a good fifty cents less than a store bought cup and much tastier and fresh.

Mammoth brownie/cake cookies from my friend Sonia, the Gluten Free Goddess, which came with a huge hug = $6.
These cookies are so big and so moist and taste so unlike any preservative laden thing you'll find in a store bakery. Even though Whole Foods is currently stocking them on their shelves for potential inclusion. They will no doubt cost more there.
This is the equivalent of four desserts in my home.

Savory homemade BBQ tofu and tangy, spicy daikon from the Korean stand = $10.
I would pay $7-10 for each of these in a store and wouldn't have the privilege of trying three other samples of delicious food on toothpicks while browsing this particular table. Yum. As a snack these will last me a week.

Two big bags of artisanal lettuces for salad fresh from the farm with no chemicals = $10
I would pay $7 bucks for one bag in the store with a little less bulk. 
This will last me for six personal salads.

Hearty bags of filberts and pepitas for salad = $8.
I would pay close to that for one of these in the store, and don't have an easy time finding filberts in general. 
This will cover a month of salads.

Feta cheese with herbs, four big falafels and two luscious homemade eggplant turnovers from the Greek guys = 10.
That's four lunches and enough cheese for four meals.
I would spend at least $15 for this batch of food elsewhere.

2 bags of cute little peanut fingerling potatoes = $5.
I don't normally even see these in a store. 
One bag will be served in a roasted chicken meal for the Cute Gardener this weekend. 
The other bag will last me the course of two or three other meals.

PLUS: Morning walk to the market in the Venice Beach sunshine and surprise encounters with two good friends = priceless vitamins for the soul. 

Excuse me while I go turn on Al Green's "Love and Happiness" and dance around the kitchen for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment