Week 2 Eat Simply Challenge details...
- Sources are where we find and prefer getting the highest quality Grade A & B foods – choose to do so from local, small scale operators and artisanal producers.
The incredible reason to prefer and trust local, small scale operators (anywhere in the world) is they have personal skin-in-the-game with reputation risk while producing the highest quality Grade A & B foods available.
The circumstances for preferring individual, small scale owners over large scale corporations are many, as they:
- Pay attention to details;
- Put great care and pride in their craft;
- Have incredible domain expertise;
- Share interesting, deep insights from their proven veteran expertise about our highest Grade A & B Quality foods;
- Are often entertaining, quirky people whom one can enjoy learning from in mutually supportive relationships and community; and,
- Are our last defense against an extractive and rapidly expanding, industrially consolidated global crap food supply system.
These are the folks to trust in obtaining the highest quality Grade A & B foods in any local area around the world. They are the establishments to look for online staples and specialty items (e.g. I obtain hand-harvested Dulse and Nori sea weeds from Larch Hanson in Maine).
Unfortunately, the quality of all our global foods being supplied everywhere is rapidly degrading precisely because of industrial scale economies and profit efficiencies – not all foods are what they seem (or should be) in our world.
Industrial scale producers and suppliers constantly seek ways to extract profits from all they sell (especially organics) and decrease the risks and costs they bear.
Avoiding these industrial behemoths and their nutritionally denuded crap food offerings is more and more challenging:
- Industry has the money and power to consistently distort claims about their foods (if not outright lie) in order to sell more products at a profit – they're not interested in our health or nutrition, only in getting the most of our money they can as quickly and consistently as possible.
The only way to be smart with our health is to support local operators with faces and names behind their highest Grade A & B Quality foods and products.
Support these people by paying them to accept daily risk and have personal skin in the game – if their products are not authentic, or hurt someone, they are also harmed and professionally suffer. This is never true for the industrial giants, who at best consider consumer health liabilities an acceptable cost of business in their accounting.
Small scale food producers might seem more expensive when compared to industrial crap food prices per pound, but they deliver far higher grade quality nutrition than any global food producers can provide.
Feel confident on your challenge even when you can find local, small scale operators with foods that don't look perfect – real foods are usually smaller in size, have irregular variations, blemishes and rarely look like the overstuffed, genetically modified cardboard commodities we're sold daily by national brands.
Small scale operators are truly the only way to build your supply network and source the highest Grade A & B Quality foods available.
This is my universal list of small scale producers to identify as your local providers you can trust:
- Farmer's Markets, CSAs, Co-ops & Gardening Groups
- Specialty Producers: Grocers, Butchers, Mongers, Ranchers, etc.
- Local Grade A & B Quality Sourcing Restaurants and food producers
Ideally choose self and/or friends.
Well, if you trust yourself and your friends! I do. My most enjoyable Grade A: Raw Wild & Heritage Raised Naturally Edible, Organic Whole Foods are those I'm growing, or somebody I know is growing and sharing with me.
Anyone can learn how to steward rich vital soils, practice animal husbandry, ranch, or even just have two chickens in an urban backyard for eggs. When your passionate about your own wellness there's surprisingly easy joys in making the highest quality foods as accessible as possible.
If not you, then seek out your passionate friends and neighbors who enjoy being a community source for wholesome foods:
- Supporting others' ongoing efforts is way cheaper than starting your own back to the land practices – chip in on their expenses, or volunteer to work on the land for a box of fresh goodies.
Whoa! Reality check...
For most of us and our friends, growing, husbanding and harvesting our own food is just not going to ever happen.
That's fine. Your choices don't need to roll that way:
- Look around, you'll find how easy it is to meet others outside your current social circles who already produce Grade A food and do it well – folks you can trust regarding quality, safety and consistency.
Farmer's markets and community supported agriculture (CSAs) are your next best local options in these situations.
Farmer's Markets, CSAs, Co-ops & Gardening Groups
Farmer's markets et al have the added advantages of bringing you fresh items in season, AND a greater variety of foods in tune with your local terroir (the land where you're living), or at least within a reasonably close region to it.
They also offer other intangibles of giving you deeper knowledge about high grade quality foods, expanding your networks for sourcing a greater variety of foods and enjoyable, real community.
Specialty Producers: Grocers, Butchers, Mongers, Ranchers, etc.
If growing your own foods, finding friends doing it for you, or being within reach of a farmer's market is not an option, then find reputable high grade quality, small scale food purveyors, butchers and fish mongers in other local markets.
These folks will often ship their heritage breeds and wild comestible options we're unlikely to find locally or in mainstream, national chains.
Local Grade A & B Quality Sourcing Restaurants and food producers
At the very least, source trusted specialty vendors who exclude GMO and all otherwise corrupted foodstuffs while sustaining the minimum level of high grade quality provisions.
NOTE: Grade A & B Quality food producers are in a low profit margin business for the love of it (if not also for the inherited circumstance of being born into it as an indentured servant to their family) – give them some love, recognition and credit for their accomplishments and don't be surprised if you get a free box of goodies every now and then.
If one can't have a knowledgeable conversation about high grade quality foods with the folks handling our food, then we're talking to the wrong person or shopping in the wrong place!
Challenge #2 check-in with Rob
- How many meals do you now eat weekly sourced from any local and small scale operators? Note this down prior to starting this challenge #2.
- After one week of this challenge how many new local and small scale operators are you now sourcing weekly from for your meals?