The early blizzard last fall that killed thousands of cattle in the Midwest was the first news that we were in for higher meat prices. Then, this past winter, we heard that the drought in California will result in poor crops of produce, causing those prices to go up.
Yes, food prices are going to go up. Telling you that we Americans pay pretty low food costs when compared to other people around the world is a waste of air. We know what we buy is also full of chemicals compared to other consumers in other countries, but that is not what this blog is about.
How can you still eat well and not pay double at the supermarket?
1. Grow some of your own food. Get off your butt and buy a tomato plant in a pot. Get another large pot and stick in a pepper plant. Or, if you have more energy, put a garden plot in a sunny corner of your yard or build a raised bed on your patio and plant more.
2. Can’t/won’t do that? If you are lucky enough to live in and around McMinnville, Oregon, you can shop for all kinds of local food on the Yamhill Valley Grown website and get food delivered to your door. That is even easier than the supermarket!
3. Get friendly with a local farmer who is happy to do that work for you. Farmers markets will be opening soon in your town or one near you. Go to Local Harvest and stick in your zip code. Find out when and where the nearby markets are. Then go to that market’s website or Facebook page and get to know the vendors. Go to the market and actually talk to the farmers. Believe me, they really enjoy that.
4. On Local Harvest you can also find out about CSAs where you can buy into the season’s harvest at a low price…that will reduce your produce costs and many CSAs also include other foods besides veggies.
5. Also on Local Harvest you can find out which farms nearby have farmstands or pick-your-own opportunities. Those also reduce your food prices and help you and your family really understand the connection of the food you put into your body with the earth and how it grows.
You CAN keep your food costs reasonable….but it means you need to start cooking and stop buying processed foods and frozen cardboard boxes of chemicals….oops, I said I was not going to talk about that this blog…sorry.
The BEST way to beat the rising costs of food production is to support the lcoal growers who will adapt to climate change. By supporting them, the local food system will stay strong and become THE inexpensive way we eat.