garden5
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I just saw that one store near me has habanero peppers at $6.49 lb :shock:.
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DeborahL
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Organics from the store aren't really organic? This upsets me because I get organics for my rabbits.
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cynthia_h
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DeborahL wrote:Organics from the store aren't really organic? This upsets me because I get organics for my rabbits.
There was a TV spot maybe four or five months ago about Whole Foods' frozen organic veggies, many of which come from...China. Given recent experiences in the U.S. and other countries with foodstuffs from China (the 2007 pet-food melamine poisoning disaster, milk powder adulteration in New Zealand and Australia as well as China for which at least one Chinese executive was executed, the excessive lead in toys and candy on repeated occasions, etc.), it's hard to believe that Whole Foods has examined the entire "pipeline" for these frozen veggies from China and found them to be organic.

If you're concerned about what you're purchasing for your bunnies, talk to the owner/manager of the store you purchase from. *Ask* what examinations/inspections/certifications they themselves have performed to ensure that the line of supply is clean. They may see you as a little obsessive, but after a while you get used to that. 8)

Just explain about the bunnies; tell him/her that the bunnies are your babies, that their life expectancies are already much too short just because they're rabbits, and you're doing everything you can to help them live as long as possible and be as healthy as possible during that all-too-short life. Most people have a soft spot for pets, although you might run up against someone who thinks the best use of organically fed bunnies is Hasenpfeffer. :roll:

The produce store I so often refer to sometimes gets organic produce when there's a "deal" at the wholesale produce market (at the Port of Oakland), and when it's organic, Pete labels it as such. Most of his produce is least-toxic or transitionally grown, esp. that grown in the U.S. or Canada.

One reason I'm hesitant to purchase out-of-season tomatoes, peppers, etc. from south of our border is transit time. Even when it's not totally organic, Pete's produce is always, absolutely always, FRESH. His truck goes to the Port Market on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arriving at the shop approx. 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. If a "heavy cooking holiday" (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, Superbowl) is coming up, he makes an extra run the day before the holiday. :D (I think this is because, several years ago, I made a small scene about Nick & Pete--Nick was the father, but passed away August 2009--running out of Brussels sprouts by ONE O'CLOCK the day before Thanksgiving!)

I'll take FRESH over organic, if it's something I cannot grow. But this is yet another reason to buy IN-SEASON produce: it hasn't had to be forced with fertilizers, immunized with insecticides, or protected by any other possibly pestilential products to survive at a time wholly contrary to its nature, *and* it hasn't had to fly/float in from half a world away.

Cynthia

kgall
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Price aside...Most of the produce this time of year has no flavor! The tomatoes are still mostly green and from there they are mush. Ugh! I can't wait for summer!

cynthia_h
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kgall, maybe you just looked at the last post on this thread? Please read the whole thread; it encompasses in-season produce, too. Tomatoes at this time of year, esp. in the northern United States, are many, MANY months off cycle. They will definitely be "shippers" and not "eaters"! The traditional winter veggies are the ones to rely on now, even if they don't have expensive marketing campaigns behind them.

Just last night (and the night before), DH and I had Brussels Sprouts soup from Brother Victor Antoine's soup cookbook. Veggies: Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions. Chicken stock. Powdered thyme, salt. Milk at the end. Incredibly good soup! Made with in-season vegetables.

Earlier this month, I made carrot/potato soup. Also split-pea/potato soup. Recipes based on bulb fennel (finocchio) are good this time of year. Broccoli. Green leafy veggies: chard, esp. Kale. Beets. Mashed rutabaga/potatoes.

Check out the whole thread here; there might be some recipe hints and dinner ideas you can use. :)

Cynthia

DeborahL
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Thanks, Cynthia ! I get the greens and things at Henry's Marketplace. The loose produce has organic tags and the carrots in packages say organic. I prefer the carrots with the tops on when I can get them.
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cynthia_h
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DeborahL wrote:Thanks, Cynthia ! I get the greens and things at Henry's Marketplace. The loose produce has organic tags and the carrots in packages say organic. I prefer the carrots with the tops on when I can get them.
Glad to help; just be sure to ask the manager at Henry's if you get nervous about the "organic quality" of the produce. S/he will be happy to answer your questions. If not, well...you'll have your answer, just in another fashion. :?

The storms of a couple of weeks ago in the growing areas of California have now shown up on Pete's shelves. *sigh* I just went over there to pick up a couple of items we're out of, and cabbage is 99¢/lb! I am soooo glad I picked up the 19-cent Yukon Golds last week. We're having the last two of them as "fancy baked potatoes" for dinner tonight:

2 Yukon Golds: 28¢
Last of the chicken, picked off the bones: 50¢, maybe
Broccoli from the garden: FREE
Sautéed mushrooms ($2.39/lb): $1.00 (splurge)
Shredded cheese (to use up the ends of two different cheeses): ??

So we're under $1 per adult for tonight's dinner. I'll be drinking my usual hot tea with a little milk; DH will probably have a glass of milk ($2.79/half gallon, so 10 oz = 44¢ for his glass of milk, but he earns the lion's share of the $ in this household).

Tomorrow: Cuban Black beans and rice. Pete was specialing red bell peppers @ 88¢/lb today, and his yellow onions are still what they were last week, 69¢/lb. I also have some small leeks in the yard; they never got big, but they'll go fine in Black beans & rice! Garlic already in the kitchen; seasonings on hand; turkey bacon to round out the flavor. Maybe baked apples on the side as an attempt at nutritional balance? (We bought a box of 'em in October from a grower in Graton and have a few left.)

My point in providing this much detail is to perhaps inspire some members to explore the possibility of cooking from scratch (if they don't already), to give others some avenues they might not have already explored, and to provide concrete examples of eating in-season fruits and vegetables, which are the most likely--at all times of the year--to be tasty and the least expensive. That is, if they're fruits/vegs we didn't grow ourselves. If we *did* grow them personally, they will definitely be the most tasty and least expensive! :)

Cynthia

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DeborahL
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Wow ! Inspiring ! The soups sound really, really good !
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kgall
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I had read the whole thing...

cynthia_h
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kgall wrote:I had read the whole thing...
Ah. In that case, I was expressing surprise that you would spend hard-earned $ on out-of-season, bound-to-be-disappointing tomatoes. :(

Even here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where many might think we have access to everything all the time, I can assure you that the "red" tomatoes in the stores right now aren't a natural, sun-ripened red. They're artificially red, from some or another gas-coloring process. My DH has been very hard to get this message through to, but over a ghastly number of years, when I've flat-out refused to eat tomato slices in the winter ("waste of effort, waste of money"), and he's had to eat the whole tomato, he's finally agreed that they just don't cut it. :twisted:

For a little acid taste in a winter salad, maybe lime juice or possibly grapefruit wedges? Citrus are in season, at least somewhere in this country, so there's a decent shot at getting good fruit. I don't know what the transportation costs will be from, say, Florida to New England, though. :?:

Pickled beets are also a good source of color and acid taste, esp. if home-pickled. The commercial ones can be a real let-down--very little beet and way too much liquid!

Cynthia

garden5
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Cynthia....your posts are giving me an appetite! Glad to see that you like the Yukon Golds as well. I've heard that they are actually one of the least popular potatoes :?.
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soil
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Even here, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where many might think we have access to everything all the time, I can assure you that the "red" tomatoes in the stores right now aren't a natural, sun-ripened red. They're artificially red, from some or another gas-coloring process. My DH has been very hard to get this message through to, but over a ghastly number of years, when I've flat-out refused to eat tomato slices in the winter ("waste of effort, waste of money"), and he's had to eat the whole tomato, he's finally agreed that they just don't cut it.
someone gave me a slice of a store tomato the other day. i nearly gagged the taste was so bitter/bland/boring. i also refuse to eat raw store tomatoes in the winter.
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cynthia_h
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garden5 wrote:Cynthia....your posts are giving me an appetite! Glad to see that you like the Yukon Golds as well. I've heard that they are actually one of the least popular potatoes :?.
Yukon Golds an unpopular potato? Wow. Maybe this is your chance to get some on the cheap! :D

Cold and/or rainy weather has always inspired me to make soups of various kinds. But since 2008, when I was able to garden again (after a 10-year layoff), I focus more on what's in the yard or could be in the yard....

Cynthia

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alaskagold
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I have read this whole thread and shake my head.

The myth of the 30 mile radius is just a way to make most people think they are buying food that was grown in their area. Unless you actually go to the farm that is was grown, most stores and even groups of farmers won't talk about it.

Organic, is not usually organic. Most people do not realize what is put into the fertilizer to keep the bugs and pests away and the fertilizer is usually manure, from pig or chickens that haven't been processed or let sit to become older so they won't damage the plants.

Also meat isn't organic. No matter what it says, if you see big viens of fat or if it has a lot of grissle, you are still eating cow and even buffalo that eats... corn and hay. The easiest way to fatten up a cow is corn, and i bet you it isn't field fed or free roaming either.

You want sticker shock on veggies and fgruit. 5.99 a POUND for apples and oranges. how about 2 peppers for 4 dollars. Lettuce... 2.50 a head and I am talking ice burg. Meat, 4.99 a pound on SALE!

i won't even go into the subsidies for farmers who won't grow anymore. Or oil, I will just make you all angry.

So, if you want to know what i do ... I garden in the summer. i fish a LOT in the summer as well... salmon, trout, pike and halibut is a lifestyle not a choice. i also hunt which freaks out most of the men i know because blood and guts don't bother me. I use most of the animals I kill as well.

fyi the prices are never going to go down. Untill you all realize this, and come to the conclussion that it is you against the world, you may just have to deal with the prices. I hope you all get angry enough to start making your own groups or clusters of garden ready people to trade with.

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rainbowgardener
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There are ways to know where your food comes from and that it is truly organic. Growing your own is of course one. Local small scale farmers markets where you can actually talk to the farmers. CSA farms -- community supported agriculture. I belong to one. The farm is about 20 miles away from me. For $250 total for the season, we get 1% of everything they produce, which turns out to be all the produce 2 of us can eat for the season (during the growing season we don't eat any veggies that don't come from the CSA or our yard) plus a bit to put by. Along with the $250 we are required to contribute 18 hrs through the season of labor, so we are out there several times through the season, we talk to the farmer, we see how everything is grown, where the compost pile is, etc etc. It is strictly organic. You can get organic meat, but it is rare and expensive. I don't worry about it, because I've been a vegetarian for forty years; solves that problem.
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alaskagold
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rainbow, you are lucky. Most, especially those in certain cities, don't have that option.

i have a "you pick' farm in my area, but then again i actually live around farms. but beef is very very expensive as well as most chicken or anything vegetable and fruit related.

I choose to live here, and usually I do not complain about the food, unless it is really bad stuff coming in. But people who live where you are can do something about what they eat, how they eat and so on. it just makes me scratch my head on many things that can be done in your areas compared to where I am.

as for being a vegetarian, I commend you.

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rainbowgardener
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Well, choosing to live in Alaska, you do choose to live pretty remote from a lot of things... lot of gorgeous wilderness though!

There are websites that help you locate CSA's near you, like this:

https://www.localharvest.org/

It says there are 3 CSA's in Palmer, AK, and one each in Clam Gulch, Seward, Ester, Soldatna, and Fairbanks. Don't know if any of those are near you..

According to the map at localharvest, there are CSA's in every state and any where east of the Mississippi, you would never be very far from one.
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alaskagold
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Rainbow, great site!

I think I came off really brash. I apologize. If you have lived up here as long as I have, you see people move up and complain about costs quite often.

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I think I came off really brash. I apologize. If you have lived up here as long as I have, you see people move up and complain about costs quite often.
Although I don't agree with everything you mentioned I can understand. I live on an island. Most everything is brought in by the Washington state Ferry system. Living remote has a price. :wink:

Our two major grocery stores are owned by the same family. Some of use are fighting back with CSA's, bartering, Farmers Market and co-ops.


Eric

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