Okay, so I feel bad about yesterday's post. There is nothing innately wrong with -- or shopping at -- any of the stores I mentioned, and if you live anywhere else in the country you likely aren't even familiar with our regional options. (To the locals, I didn't mention Dominick's because I've always thought they are even more expensive than Jewel. Nor did I mention Brookhaven and Westbrook, because I find their produce spoils rapidly [cheap is cheap] and they have a very limited selection of organic anything.)
So anyways, yesterday afternoon I actually discussed this issue with my husband again, and he has the same opinion I do -- which doesn't help our spending habits. On the one hand I'm happy he isn't upset with me about the grocery bills; on the other I still wish I could spend less and have him help me do so.
I'm aware of the produce options that you don't need to buy organic. But when you're also trying to shop and eat in season, buying conventional butternut squash means nothing to me in mid-July. And, contrary to popular opinion, farmers markets (at least mine) are not cheap. Only the zucchini and summer squash are 5/$1. The berries are more like...$5...and they're not even organic. I think I need to carry the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists with me so that at least I'm shopping according to my values there, too...local is good, but local and organic is better -- and, alas, some options at Whole Foods DO fit that bill. Whole Paycheck, I know.
I am clearly schizophrenic when it comes to this issue, but as the saying goes, out of your greatest struggle comes your greatest success. Maybe I will figure this all out and turn it into a way to help people in similar situations. After all, my motives are solid: save money for my family; stay healthy. When you have a strong history of cancer in your family (between my husband and I we have six close relatives who have fought hard against it), that's a real concern. And as much as what I say here is partly in jest -- clearly I haven't figured out what to do, and it's been years, so either I'm not trying hard enough or things are fine right where they are -- they're also serious and close to home.
Thanks for listening, whatever camp you're in. Food is fuel. Food is medicine. You do what you can with what you have. If you need help working on better food choices -- even if you know nothing about the quality or lack thereof of what you buy -- let me know. We may be able to help each other out.