Sunday, June 6, 2010

Old Mother Frieze and the View from Her Cupboard

Gradually we have switched over to eating as much organic and local produce and meat as possible. The factory farms are the agricultural equivalent of BP. They are only interested in making money regardless of the risk of genetically engineered food, the chemicals used in processed food or the inhumane treatment of animals. You do away with all that by buying locally grown and organic food.

I wrote a blog about this on the Tacoma News Tribune blogspot “In Your Neighborhood” a couple of years ago and was accused of being un-American and seeking to bring down capitalism. Now this guy is a Rightwing wacko who likes his Big Macs and I know that. Buying meat from the farmer down the road if you can or organic meat at Costco or your local market, if you’re lucky enough, ensures that fewer animals are leading miserable lives. Cooking from scratch or at least finding organic versions of processed foods is the most healthful and humane thing to do. And it isn’t that hard.

Safeway and Fred Meyer carry organic products and the more people buy them the wider the variety is. For a mainstream store, Fred Meyer is the best with an extensive selection of organic product, even in bulk, at reasonable prices. They carry organic chicken and some beef, although organic beef is expensive. Some, but not all, of the Costcos carry organic meat. If you can find a local farmer who raises beef cattle at least you will know how the animal was treated. If you are in doubt as to who factory farms treat animals you can find videos of it on the Internet, but it’s not for the faint of heart or queasy of stomach.

We are fortunate enough to get fresh organic produce delivered to our door by Terra Organics. They have farms all over. I have a friend who gets their produce down in CA. Smith Brothers Farms, based in Kent, WA, carries organic milk to our door, too. We shop at Marlene's Market in Tacoma where we enjoy meals in their deli while we shop the store. They make the best vegan chocolate cake you ever put in your mouth.

You can find coupons for organic foods on the Internet. Organic Valley has coupons for milk, butter, eggs, and other dairy products. If you visit the websites of organic products and email them how much you like their products you can get coupons for all sorts of things. I have received coupons for carrots, organic chips, dishwashing liquids, etc.

There are local health food stores and co-ops like PC in King County and Marlene’s in King and Pierce County. I don’t like Whole Foods because the CEO, John Mackey, is against health care reform. His opinion is that if you do your shopping at his store you won’t need health care. I have a sister-in-law who ate all organic and still got pancreatic cancer so you can still get sick, your chances are just less if you aren’t putting all the chemicals that come in factory farmed meat and produce and processed food into your body.

The best thing you can do for yourself and family is to cook from scratch and then sit down together. It does more for the body and spirit than anything else you can do. Yes, it takes a little longer, but it's worth it. That's the view from my broom and my cupboard.


Lorraine Hart said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly Stephanie! We are happy to be getting to know more of the local farmers and the Key is working on a food co-op.
We've mostly opted-out of beef and prefer buffalo now. There's wonderful farms out here on the Key. Check out "Gentle Giant Farm" and say hi to our friends Maureen and Greg!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Thanks for the info, Lorraine! We don't eat much beef, but sometime want some organic beef and it's hard to find. At least with a local farmer you know they haven't been thrown around with forklifts and hopefully not fed animal meal. Fred Meyer sells what they call "Natural" beef and they tried to tell me that it was as good as organic because they don't use antibiotics, but then Ana read up on it and they do feed them animal meal. Aren't we still afraid of mad cow? Scary stuff this eating is!

Grandma L said...

That is one of my pet peeves. The meat has no flavor anymore unless it's organic. I have pretty much given up on beef. I can't afford it anyway.

Stephanie Frieze said...

The same goes for tomatoes, Lorrene. Organic ones taste like tomatoes, but the hothouse ones from the factory farms don't taste like anything.

Kim Thompson said...

Wonderful, wonderful post, my friend. I LOVE Fred Meyer (right down the street from me). There selection of goods is terrific. Terra Organics is wonderful too. I am an all the time vegetarian (have been since I was 19) and some time vegan (though I am eating more that way these days). I love the fact that I can go to FM and find many delicious foods at reasonable prices. Now I need to get my behind out to Marlene's...Haven't been there in a long time.

Other local farms I love are Tahoma Farms, Terrys Berries. My friend Scott from Calendula Nursery sells the best organic eggs from his farm. I've been there and met the chickens! They are a lovely bunch with very distinct personalities and are treated with lots of love!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Where is Calendula Nursery, Kim? We buy organic brown eggs from Costco in 18 packs because as a family of 6 we go through a lot of them. When I'm on my way to the coast I pass little farms that have eggs for sale, but haven't stopped since I'm not sure what they feed their chickens. I feel that Costco is committed to selling more and more organic as people demand it. They have switched their Tree Top Apple Sauce, which I buy, to organic which made me really happy. I also like their bowls of organic brown rice that don't need water or refrigeration. You can keep them on the shelf and use them for lunch at work for "fast food."

As demand increases prices will come down although organic will never be as cheap as factory farmed/produced goods because the care they take costs money. In the grand scheme of things, it is well worth it.