Do you eat locally?
Yesterday when we talked about Beth Terry’s new book and all her great tips on buying from bulk bins, I couldn’t help but think about a few great local resources that West Michigan residents should be aware of (and that might make other readers jealous).
- Treehuggers is a little shop in Easttown and Holland that has some unique bulk items,including Selestial Soaps laundry soap and insect repellent, maple syrup, Bragg’s liquid aminos, and more. You have to bring your own container, so don’t even bother going in on a whim like I did to check it out!They also recycle some pretty unique items, so be sure to check the back of the shop.
- Smart Choice Market, the new health food store in Byron Center (just a few miles off US-131) has the area’s only gluten-free bulk bins, with over 100 products available. They have this organic, Michigan-grown popcorn that starts out with dark red kernels and pops bright white – and it tastes oh, so amazing! You can also get just a little bit of all those weird gluten-free flours and baking supplies in case you want to try one recipe but not commit to a $12 bag of whatever.
There are other great health food and natural foods stores in the area, to be sure, but these two are new to me and so interesting!
Why am I talking Grand Rapids stuff today?
I’m honored to partner with Local First on the 10×10 Eat Local Challenge, during which we’re shooting for one thousand people to shift just $10 of their food budget to local foods for 10 weeks, August 28th-October 30th.
If we succeed, that adds a hundred thousand dollars to the local food system!
Sign the pledge here and you’ll receive emails to help you reach your goal, including coupons and ideas from local businesses like:
- West Michigan Food Co-op
- Forest Hills Foods
- Reds on the River
- Bearboy Gourmet
- Brewery Vivant
- Romence Gardens
- Superior Foods
- Lubbers Family Farm
If you’re not in West Michigan, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to sign, but certainly consider moving even more of your food/supplies budget to local businesses, farmers, and artisans.
How am I Going to Do It?
If you read KS very much, you probably have guessed that a great big chunk of my food budget already stays very local: milk, eggs, some cheese, maple syrup, honey, almost all meat, and this time of year, almost all produce comes from local farmers.
I try to shop at my local health foods store when possible, but I do make some online and bulk orders.
I figure that 10×10 means moving $100 to local sources, even if it’s not divvied up exactly evenly by the week.
My goal is to plan out $100 that I can spend locally (that I wouldn’t usually) on things like:
- restaurants – when we eat out, it will be local only these 10 weeks. I love patronizing small business and know the importance of keeping our dollars right in town. I’ve been wanting to get to Brewery Vivant ever since a reader told me they have unpasteurized beer with probiotics in it!
- moving all my cheese purchases to local cheese only
- focusing on local breweries for “fun” beer purchases
- maybe grabbing a convenience “real food” meal from Making Thyme, somewhere I wouldn’t normally shop
- trying to choose small, family-owned businesses over big box stores when I can find an alternative
Read more about Local First and their mission HERE.
What are you going to do to try moving $10 a week to local food sources?
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: No money is changing hands. I’m just happy to help all the local businesses listed here and to work with Local First on this important cause. In return for sharing this information, I’ll get to go to Fork Fest as a member of the media, but that’s it. My opinion and thoughts cannot be bought! I am an affiliate of amazon. See my full disclosure statement here.