Saturday, September 08, 2007

I'm glad Tara left this comment to my last post:

"...good for you! We have been wanting to do that too but are finding it terribly difficult- we live in a super small town in the middle of nowhere and there is nowhere to buy organic anything!"

...because lately I've been thinking: If Tom and I ever do move away from here, what if we end up someplace where shopping organic is a larger hassle than just driving down to the local supermarket as we do now? I mean, we once lived in a tiny mountain town which felt like--and looked like--the North Pole each winter and if our two meager supermarkets didn't have what you wanted, well, you did without. You created substitutes. Part of me warmed to that challenge, part of me dreaded it.

And too, already I'm planning on hibernating during Richmond summers. Guess who despises heat and humidity more than I do? (Answer: No One.). (And yes, don't ask me, "So why are you moving there?") :) In summer I will stay home with my face pasted to the air-conditioner. Already I know this.

So here are the beginnings of my plan to stay organic in another place and perhaps this will help some of you, like Tara, who live in tiny "what-the-heck-is-organic?" towns.

In Springtime, early as possible, I will hurry to get a garden all planted. I'll raise as many organic fruits and vegetables of my own as I can. If there's a water shortage, I'll devise ingenious ways to conserve water, use leftover water, and water from a dehumidifier, if I have to. (Where there's a will, there's a way. I believe in that.) I'll probably learn how to can vegetables and will use my freezer to the max.

You can also offer to buy produce from your neighbor's organic garden if they have one. Or gladly accept any organic zucchini (or etc.) they throw your way.

As soon as we get moved down there, I will scout our local supermarkets, one shelf at a time if I must, for organic products. For instance, one of our local supermarkets doesn't have a health food aisle, yet it was as that store where, years ago, I first found West Soy Organic Soy Milk which we use all the time. It's the only soy milk I've discovered with only two ingredients--not a whole list of unnecessary ones. And there it was in the cereal aisle, all by its lonesome organic self.

Soon after that (and months before our family went organic) that same store began carrying a certain brand of 'natural products' (never trust the term 'natural'), yet some of them were labled organic. These, too, were interspersed among the regular ol' chemical-laced food after their initial "look what we have now!" display. You had to stroll around--searching--for them after that.

So what am I saying? Don't give up hope. You tiny-town dwellers may be surprised to discover there are some organic foods in your stores, after all. And why not fill out 'suggestion forms' in your supermarket asking for some? Perhaps write out requests each time you visit. I mean, why not? Stores are usually anxious to please--anything to sell more food and make more money.

And then there's studying for yourself--reading online or from library books how to make your own, say, health and beauty products from your own cupboards. The other day I learned that coconut oil--by itself-- is a great moisturizer. So why use some product where coconut oil is only one of many added (potentially dangerous) ingredients? The list of beauty products from your cupboards is endless.

And then there are farmer's markets... You can ask the vendors if they are organic. And at least when you buy local produce, there's much less chance that it's been sprayed with that awful "staying power stuff" so to survive long trips.

Then there's the Internet. If I couldn't find, say, Stevia in our stores, I'd buy it online. Have it mailed right to my house. There are lots of organic products available online--just do a Web search and then comparison shop.

And too, if you're not ready to go organic, there's 'eating basic'... trying to eat fresh foods with no--or very, very few--added ingredients. The shorter the ingredient list--generally speaking--the better. And just learning what all those ingredient names mean can be a life-saver, too.

Again, I totally, totally believe in "where there's a will, there's a way." Especially if it's something God, Himself, is nudging you to do. He would never ask us to do something physically impossible, but instead--when it's His idea--He always provides a way where there is no obvious way.

Generally, what remains is for us to search for that way until we find it.


Tara said...

You are absolutely right... where there is a will there is usually a way.

At this point my will is definitely NOT strong enough. Actually, neither is my pocket book. From my personal experience organic foods are significantly more expensive than the other kinds.

Perhaps my will will go stronger once my kids are older and I get full nights of sleep again.

Debra said...

Hi Tara... I appreciate your comments and questions! Awhile ago I wrote a post about ways to get around the expense of organic foods. You can read it here:

Hope it helps a little. I'm finding that it's easy for me to give up buying some things in order for me to afford going organic--and feeling so great! :)Blessings and thanks again, Debra