That's a direct quote I got today on Facebook by someone I don't even know. Actually, the entire quote was:
'There is nothing wrong with purchasing food at a local independent market. I shop at ours every day. Everything in the butcher department is sourced locally, they sell produce and fruit from local farmers, apple juice from a local orchard, jams and jelly produced in our town. You're just shopping in the wrong "supermarkets"'
This quickly made me realize that a lot of people don't realize that not every place is blessed with the shopping choices that they have. It also made me realize that this project makes some people uncomfortable. So I suppose I should explain our living situation so people aren't so judgemental about our choices - though I don't expect them to actually read my blog.
We live in an economically depressed city about 30 miles (as the crow flies) northeast of San Francisco. The city is bankrupt and has been for several years. We barely have police or fire services anymore (we're down to less than 90 officers for a city of over 120,000 people). Property values continue to somersault downhill (our neighborhood has seen a 60% reduction in home values since the height of the market), while crime rates skyrocket. We have more than our share of poverty - our county has the highest poverty rates in the Bay Area. People just can't afford healthy food, so there is no demand for it. None of the supermarkets carry local meat, let alone grassfed. The selection of organic produce is pathetic to say the least. This is the reality of where I live.
If I want to go to a "local independent market" I will have to drive 30+ miles plus pay $5 in bridge toll to get there. To me, that is no longer "local" and the carbon footprint and added cost is too great. It also doesn't look at the part of the problem I'm trying to solve - that you don't have to live in a foodie hub (such as San Francisco or Berkeley) to be able to eat healthy, unprocessed food while on a budget.
So go ahead and shop at your local independent market. It's great that you have access to one! I'm not telling anyone that they shouldn't - in fact, you will never see me say that anyone should do what we're doing unless they are truly interested in doing it themselves and have expressed that to me. Just please realize that not everyone has one (or two or five) independent markets where they live.