Saturday, March 12, 2011

At $55 a Tank, it Makes Sense to start buying local


I drive the ubiquitous silver Pontiac Sunfire.  As vehicles go, it is by no means a gas-guzzler.  And yet I spent $55 filling the tank yesterday afternoon.  This is pretty crazy, and I dont expect it to get anything but worse.  As gas prices rise, the cheap food we take for granted that travels the length of the globe to get to our supermarkets is simply not going to stay that inexpensive.  Have you ever looked into airline tickets to South America?  They’ aint cheap.  And while I know raspberries and green peppers arent flying business class to get to your green grocer, they still have to use up an awful lot of fuel to get to us, fuel that is becoming exorbitant in its cost.  Figuring out how to make the best use of your local sources of food is not only the “right” thing to do, its looking more and more like the smart thing to do, too.

OK, let me climb down off my soapbox here so I can share some local goodies I purchased recently!

First stop was City Cafe Bakery, with at least three locations in the KW area.  This is a great, unique little cafe that features all locally-made baked goods.  I dont believe that the ingredients are necessarily organic or local, but the company gets my seal of approval because they have a unique business model based on a limited menu of quality items at great prices and still manage to pay their staff a living wage, unlike so many other food chains (yes, I am talking about you, Tim Hortons).  Also, they make THE dankest bagels you’re going to find in Ontario (yes I did say dank.. I reserve it for times like this).

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Bear was coveting some this morning, so I ran out and got a half dozen (bear was already eating one before I could snap a photo)

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just look at the sesame seed, wood-fired goodness

Next stop was Golden Hearth Bakery in downtown Kitchener.  To get a full understanding of their local/organic ethos, check out their website, but basically they use as much locally grown and milled ingredients as possible, and then supplement the rest with organic bits and pieces.  Very cool.  And WOW is their food amazing.  Check out some of the goodies I got yesterday:

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That would be a chocolate croissant, two plain croissants, two ginger molasses cookies, two chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and a beautiful big loaf of sourdough bread.  YUM.

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this was the best bread I have tasted in a long time.  So worth having to slice it yourself!

The other day I stopped in at one my favourite local grocers, The Old Kitchen Cupboard.  It’s a wonderful place where you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a general store of days gone by.  And the staff is SO helpful… I had a question about one of the companies that supply their dairy, and the guy just got on the phone and called the company for me!  Customer service is not dead, friend! :) I procured two fabulously local and organic staples while there:

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Some lovely organic cheddar, made nearby in Millbank, Ontario.

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And some delicious summer sausage from southwestern Ontario- our little Bird loves this stuff!

Then, for lunch yesterday, I made this yummy equation:

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Pretty neat to know that almost everything on that sandwich is raised right in my own back yard.  Not something we normally even think about these days, but it brings you a deeper appreciation for the food when you know it.  Or, it does for me, anyway.  :)



Laura said...

You had me at those bagels. ;p
I'm with you on the Tim Horton's thing. I never go there.

I try to buy local as well. We have a couple of pretty good stores here where I am but nothing like the treasure trove of where you live. I love it down there. All of the Mennonite influence and atmosphere-just amazing!

Great post! I was actually trying to think of some ways to cut the gas cost myself. With 4 kids, we have a big gas guzzling van and that's not going to change for a few more years. It cost me $100 to fill it up the other day. Crazy!!!


The Armchair Housewife said...

Laura, that gas business is nuts. 100 dollars! Big hugs, friends... hoping the gas prices go down for you soon. :)