One of my boot campers asked me this question last night and I thought that it was such a good question, so I wanted to share my response with you.
Basically, I purchase whatever food I cannot get local and that consists of hemp seeds in bulk, raw cashews, and seaweed in bulk. Now, you may be thinking that I live in a place where it is easy to find great produce, but the fact is that I live in State College, PA – a college town located in rural Pennsylvania. In other words, I don’t live in a place with a Whole Foods or major health food store. Although, we did just get a Trader Joes, I find that I only buy things like soap and toilet paper from them.
So, where do I get my food from?
In the first 2-3 years that I lived here, I got my food from standard sources like the high-end grocery store in town (I assumed they had the best produce) and a farmshare (i.e. CSA – i.e., you receive a box of farm fresh food every week). But then after a great fruit-picking event, I started to explore my food environment to see what I really had access to, and now most of my food is purchased from Betsy at the Tuesday farmers’ market, Tait farms, Giant grocery store (they surprisingly have some good quality produce), Nature’s Pantry (one of the two small health food stores in town), and my garden. And what’s great is that (except for Giant) all of these sources of food know my name. It’s wonderful to know where your food is coming from and to have a connection with the people who grow it and/or provide it.
So, try redefining your local food environment so that you can see what you truly have access to! Often we have assumptions that certain stores or places will have the cheapest prices, but I have found that these assumptions are often wrong and can cost us a lot of money.
For more guidance on redefining your local food environment, get my award-winning 300-page book, Raw Foods on a Budget for 10 bucks! It has a whole chapter on the topic!