Buying local food has always been a "thing". Way back in the olden days when there were no major shipping channels to get foods from other parts of the world or even the state to your door, local food was the only option. It may have fallen out of fashion for awhile as giant grocery stores with seemingly unlimited choices became popular, but more and more it is back. Keeping your dollars, including your food dollars, local has a big impact in a lot of ways. As a local small business myself, I'm all for supporting other local businesses as much as I can. Plus, feeding your family with these local products is often much healthier than the commercial options. Keeping your family nourished with healthy food is something that you can really feel good about.
So what are some local food items that you can buy, and where can you find them? Read below for four choices.
WHY: Local honey tastes SO much better and so different from commercially-produced honey. The honey will taste different based on time of year and also by which plants the bees frequent. Try honey from different local suppliers for lots of variety! Local honey can help if you have allergies!
WHAT: Farm To Gold ghee (clarified butter)
WHY: If you haven't tried this stuff, run, do not walk, to get some. Ghee is made from butter, but it has all the milk solids removed. It has that yummy butter taste but it doesn't have the lactose (awesome for a lactose-intolerant girl like me). It's fantastic on waffles, toast, and you can use it as a cooking fat. I wouldn't even judge you if you ate it out of the jar with a spoon. There are other ghees out there but I've never had one as tasty as Farm To Gold.
WHAT: Grass-fed meat
WHY: For you meat eaters out there, if you haven't tried local grass-fed meat yet, you don't know what you're missing. The difference in taste and overall quality between grass-fed and regular, store-bought, non grass-fed meat is staggering. I can't go back to regular meat anymore because it actually makes me sick. No hormones, no antibiotics, no giant carbon footprint from trucking it across the country. Just really good quality meat on your table. I'm partial to both New England Grass Fed and Pat's Pastured.
WHERE TO FIND IT: New England Grass Fed can be found at the URI farmers' market (spring/summer/fall) and the South Kingstown Farmers' Market (winter). Their meat is also served at various local restaurants, and you can purchase a Pasture Pack via their website. Pat's can be found at several farmers' markets in RI, and they have a farm store in East Greenwich where you can purchase products. They also offer Buying Clubs.
WHY: Didn't your mom tell you to eat your veggies? Local veggies are fresher than their commercial counterparts and are also much tastier. The vast majority are organic...no gross pesticides and chemicals! Plus by using local veggies, you are supporting your local farmer.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: All farmers' markets will have seasonal veggies all year long. Some farms have winter CSA shares; check www.farmfresh.org for both market locations and CSA options. Or check out RI Organic, where you can purchase a variety of farm share baskets and even have them delivered to you!