Affordable Accessible Watch

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September 11, 2008 at 7:41 am

Rob Gardner

Day #2 of the Green City Market Localvore Challenge.  How’s it going?  This time of year, the Chicago locavore’s options for affordable, accessible food remain high.  (Note, previous A&A reports are here and here.)  As in previous weeks, we make our call based on the weekly inserts in the Oak Park edition of the Chicago Tribune as well as frequent visits to the Angelo Caputo’s grocery in Elmwood Park. 

Wanna no what disgusts me?  Early September, Jewel advertises asparagus.  What pleases me, it’s $3.49/lb.  The message, if we can draw from one example, it aint cheaper to go foreign.  Instead look at Tony’s Finer Foods’ Michigan prune plums for 99 cents/lb; Ultra Food’s confusingly advertised 2 packs of 4 ears of local corn for $5, and especially all of the stuff available now at Caputo’ and all priced under a $1/lb: escarole, endive, cucumbers, zucchini, plum tomatoes, plums, sweet corn, hot peppers, and green peppers.  Not advertised by Caputo’s but there, based on visits, more local includes cabbage, green beans, squash, peaches and eggplant.  I should add that Ultra and Tony’s advertise more local foods than the examples shown.  On the other hand, neither Dominicks nor Jewel show local this week.

See my point.  Let me pile on.  Caputo’s is still selling bushels of Michigan tomatoes for $16.  Do you know how many tomatoes are in a bushel?  If that’s too much for you, maybe you can do what we did yesterday, we got a big ol’ box, I’d say close to a bushel’s worth, of over-ripe Michigan tomatoes for $5.  Five dollars!  Know what else five dollars could have bought you yesterday at Caputo’s?  I mean not quite $5, my wife reminds me that it was $6.99; 25 lb boxes of Michigan eggplants for $6.99.  Seven dollars! 

I’m not saying that local is always this affordable, nor is it always this accessible.  Come winter, if you don’t have it stored away, it might mean trips to Madison and Ann Arbor, although Robin will have her winter markets going.  Now, local remains at your disposal, at better prices than imported food.  Gorge.  Store.  Go local baby.

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One Comment

  1. [...] As Rob pointed out, if look for seasonal abundance, your local eating options remain high. [...]

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