What’s In Season Now – Local Food – (Hey John B)
The Season of Accessible and Affordable Local Food
A commentator, John B, wrote:
These posts about what local goods are in season barely scratch the surface of where to find them around town. Your self-imposed requirement to only mention farmers markets (which are littered with non-local goods) provides a huge disservice to your readers, particularly those with logistical or scheduling challenges as these markets are significantly fewer in numbers and with small operating windows compared to traditional retail and grocery banners. But hey, let’s keep this whole local thing to just those with means and free time. If everyone can eat local, we’ll have to find something new to care about to differentiate “us” from “them.”
I replied to his comment basically saying, I agreed with him and was doing something about it. This post has been in the works for ages, showing that local food is not just for the farmer’s markets. See, I am forever doing two things. I am always looking where ever I shop for food, for local food, and I scan the ads for local food. My pal Monica Eng may be examining the seafood at dollar stores, I’ve bought local onions at such. I’ve scoured places as diverse as Costco, Whole Food, Jewel, and Aldi for evidence that they had local food in their stock, and by local I don’t mean Kraft cheese. I mean either produce grown in Illinois or neighboring states or small-scale food manufacturing–from Tomato Mountain on one end to Eli’s on the other. And there’s always something local I can find, if nothing else, russet potatoes from Wisconsin–always too at low-low prices. Like, for instance, I was pleasantly surprised at the selection and value of Coop Hot Sauces on a recent trip to Mariano’s. I got locally made salami at Eataly. And no time can I find local food better than this time, harvest time.
Since I cannot be every where, nor do I that much week-to-week shopping at groceries, what with the CSA and ample Oak Park market, I review ads. I like to think of it as analogous to Tommy Lee Jones/K reading the supermarket scandal papers for alien intel. In other words, there’s more to these ads than meets the eye. To me, they reveal a locavore paradise lurking under our jaded eyes. In past years, I’ve worked hard to specifically address John’s comment. For instance, look what I did here. This year, I worked almost as hard. Over several weeks, I documented what local food different places were carrying, for instance, the pic above is from last week’s Treasure Island ad in the Chicago Tribune. Then, each week rolls around, and I don’t have the time to post (against my other things to post and other things to do, non-Beet). John shammed me.
Except this week, I did not take any pictures of the ads. Instead, we’ll have to go the source. Here’s Angelo Caputo’s current flyer. Look at all that local produce: tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes and more. Here’s the Treasure Island ad, showing locally grown peppers and eggplant for sale. A & G International Fresh Market has Michigan apples at a very good price. Even better, look at the price of Michigan peaches from Ultra Foods. Maybe no other supermarket chain makes a bigger deal of their locally sourced produce than Meijer, and look at what they are advertising this week. So, John, who do you trust, my defensive comments or my links?
You can find local food anywhere, and we’ll help you do it on the Beet.
Please share with us any local food you are finding at your neighborhood supermarket.