The New “Buy Local” Movement

Lots of people are showing a renewed interest in gardening and local produce, but it’s not coming from hipster urbanites. It turns out growing your own food is an easy way for rural people struggling in the bad economy to cut their costs.

In urban areas, the words “locally grown” conjure images of affluent shoppers in pricey farmers’ markets. But in rural America, consumers are opting for locally grown food — from their own gardens and neighboring farmers — largely because it is cheaper.

Rebecca Frazier, a teacher here, said she had cut her food bill in half by growing her own and preserving and by buying in bulk from local farmers. She recently paid $10 for 40 pounds of sweet potatoes, a fraction of the store price.

The whole article is interesting throughout. I’d suggest reading it.

A part of me chuckles at this news, because it’s a pattern of eating I adopted when I was in college. I didn’t have enough money to buy much, and I didn’t want to skimp on health either. So the only thing you can do is buy bags of oats, bananas, dried beans, and other bulk foods. I remember my freshman year in college when I only had $30 to spend on groceries, and I’d walk to the grocery store and fill up on bags of apples, oranges, and lentils. I got smirks from my roommates, but I’m still at my freshman weight……unlike a lot of other people I know. 

Under ideal circumstances, my dietary patterns probably wouldn’t look all that different from what’s described in the article. I’m writing from Skopje Macedonia, and I’d prefer what these guys are doing to my dietary patterns now. I have more than enough money to buy the food that I want, but the access to produce markets is scarce, and you have to pass 15 bakeries before you get to a green market. At least where I’m at.

Other conditions of my environment have also made it difficult to eat well. I end up staying out late with friends, and sleep in late. My peak eating hours come after many businesses have closed, and the most readily available food is by far pizza, gyros, and other tasty but sinful snacks. As a result eating fresh can take some Herculean efforts to fight the inertia that pushes you towards fries and a coke.

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