Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Start Where You Are

We thought it was easiest to tackle the area of food first (not!).  The learning curve has been steep as we attempted to identify the sources of the products we consume.  At first we just figured it was as simple as increasing the budget to pay for "organic", "non GMO" etc.  Then he discovered the middle zones of non certified organic or natural farms and grass fed or grain fed and the pros and cons of each...Confusing!

It's easy to be overcome and overwhelmed trying to do the "right thing".  So it was also necessary to take a step back to recognize and acknowledge incremental steps in the "right" direction as also valid.  Not everything can be done at once with giant leaps and bounds...I've always had a tough time with that one.

Turns out that in our province (Ontario), meat raised and sold has to be growth hormone and antibiotic free.  We are more in line than I thought.  They will use antibiotics in cases of illness but are supposed to leave enough time for residues to leave the system before processing.  We've also been told that antibiotics exist in feed, especially with turkeys.  And yes, we have CAFOs in Canada.

There are a number of area farms that run an organic vegetable "produce box" pick up or delivery service.  Some will give you a break on the cost if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and help out at the farm.  My only concern is wastage.  I know we don't eat as many vegetables as we'd like so getting a whole tub full weekly freaks me out a bit.  They will provide recipes to help you out with cooking new to you veggies. 

I think us driving around all over the place to various organic farm stores may not be the best answer either.  I've been busy identifying both certified and non certified organic farms within a 50 km radius of where we live as an FYI.  We had the pleasure of visiting one (learned so much!) over the weekend and I'll be writing a post about our experiences shortly. 

In reality, purchasing medium or large orders at once or having them delivered is actually cheaper and more efficient.  We've also found a service that works with area organic farms and stores (within 100 km) so you could actually do most if not all of your weekly shopping through them for a very minimal delivery charge ($5).  I've set up an account and will be giving them a go. 

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