Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Your Decision To Make

Just minutes after I published my post yesterday, I read someone else's post about buying non-feedlot-raised meats and chicken, and buying locally. Whether it was the writer's intention or not, I felt as if she were passing judgment against those who buy food produced outside their local markets or foods that aren't organic.

Ideally, we would buy our food locally from farmers with humane and ecologically sound practices. Unfortunately, we either have trouble finding the locally-raised food (especially meat) or we have trouble affording it when we do find it. The meat we found at the Amish shop was the first affordable and readily available non-feedlot meat we'd been able to find this year. Unfortunately, buying a side of beef was out of our budget, and the shop was unwilling to sell it by the quarter. They would sell individual cuts, but those were MUCH more expensive than the $2.49 per pound sides they were selling.

My point is this: it's never a bad thing to buy locally grown or raised produce and meat. The food is likely of better quality and your money stays in your local economy. BUT...you have to do what you have to do. Sometimes you have to buy what's readily available and sometimes you have to stretch those dollars as far as they will possibly stretch.

If you can afford to eat all organic, all local produce and meat, then buy all means, do so. If you can only afford a few organic or locally grown items each week, then buy those and enjoy them. And if you simply can't work organics into your budget, then don't worry about it and don't feel guilty about it. You can always start working them in later as your situation changes.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to living frugally and/or living simply. Only you can decide what's right for you. I hope my posts never come across as condescending or as sermons. I hope instead their seen simply as suggestions or tips for those who do want to lead a simpler, more frugal lifestyle.

7 comments:

Frances said...

I don't think your posts come across as condescending at all.

I agree with you, everyone has to do what is right for them. We buy fresh produce, when we can, from a local farm. But if we can't get to the farm, we buy from the grocery store. I don't care where it comes from...we gotta have fruits and veggies.

When someone else pays for our food, they can tell us what to eat.

Cathy said...

I was just telling a friend the other day that we are each at our own place with life and getting upset with those that aren't where you are is not going to move them any faster. We all make the choices that work best for who we are.

We are fortunate to be able to buy free range meat, eggs, milk, honey and maple syrup from a farmer that sells individual cuts of meat at a fair price. Each month we stock up for the rest of the month and get to enjoy food we believe in. However, I do realize not everyone has the same conveniences that we do and I hope that as more people ask for these foods that it will become more available in all locations and budgets.

I am impressed that you have grown such a beautiful garden this summer. I have enjoyed looking at the photos and it has truly inspired me to give it a try. Maybe next year. How much more local can your own garden be?

Annie Jones said...

Frances: You have a good point...when someone else pays, they can make the decisions.

Cathy: You're right that we can't get produce any more local than from our own garden. But we can't raise livestock, so we have to get meat elsewhere. We might be able to have, at most, four chickens in our yard since we're within city limits. We're considering it, but haven't decided yet.

Sheila said...

I would love to be able to buy local. I just don't have the money to buy so much at one time--and I have looked around here but didn't find anyone to buy from any way. I would love to be able to pay the prices you pay in your "stocking the freezer" post. I can't find pork, beef or chicken at the prices you posted--even on sale. Most of the meats in the grocery stores around here are at least $2-$3 on sale--that is the chicken and pork--not the beef. I can't find a good roast for less than around $4 a pound. I did find an eye of round roast earlier this week for $2 and I cut it up to make stew. Prices like that are very few and far between and when I get to the store, there is such a horrible selection. I would stock up if it was available. I like you "STF" post as I do all your posts--I read your blog to help me and my family with our budget. You give me ideas that I haven't thought of myself. Thanks for that.

A.Marie said...

I absolutely love your blog and your posts; you write extremely well and you make very valid comments without being condescending. That's why I enjoy visiting you!

As far as the non-feedlot meat, I live in a rural area and I try to purchase meat, once a year, from a trusted farmer, but it doesn't happen every year. Unless I have been able to stock the $$ away during the year, I cannot come up with the $$ that it will cost. We usually only purchase a quarter of a cow, but it'll still run into quite a bit of money. Granted, it is awesome meat, but a person has to do with what they have.

This year, there are no extra $$ saved for the beef, so we will be using less and buying it from the local grocery store when it goes on sale. Sometimes, they'll have the 90% ground beef on sale for around $2.39/lb. Sometimes cheaper, but it just depends on the month.

Anyway, you are correct; don't feel guilty if you cannot do everything organic!

Leanne said...

I've never felt that your posts are condecending in any way at all.

I'm quite lucky in that a lot of local farmers here have went free range (although there are still only a haldful of organic famrers) but it does make one hell of a difference in the price and I can buy free range meat, eggs, and local fruit and veggies (well to a certain extent, don't think anyone round here has the knack of pineapples yet!) but before that happened I just bought whatever was available and 9 times out of 10 it wasn't free range and certainly wasn't organic. I can't get the veggie box people to deliver to my area which is a pity because they supply a huge box of fruit and veg and I mean huge for £5 per week which is very cheap even compared to supermarket prices and the boxes are 100% organic. So far we don't seem to be able to fit a pick up every week into our schedule but it would be lovely if we could.

Annie Jones said...

Sheila, A.Marie and Leanne: Thank you, ladies. I'm glad you and others do get something out of my posts. :)