Usually, when it comes time to do grocery shopping, time is a commodity. The less stops my family has to make the better. Unfortunately, this often means that we sacrifice quality experiences for expediency. Having a quality food experience usually takes time, whether it’s time spent cooking, growing food, shopping for food, or planning a menu, or a combination of those factors.
While I don’t necessarily enjoy running errands, I do enjoy changing my experiences with food. After all, my transition from eating frozen pizzas to making my own pizza has transformed my food attitude. When I do my own thoughtful cooking and food shopping, I feel more connected to my food and my health. Rather than blindly consuming calories and chemicals I can’t even pronounce, I now eat food that I have had an active part in creating beyond just pre-heating the oven.
Making trips to the grocery store more meaningful is possible, if you are attentive to the produce you’re purchasing. While frozen fruits and veggies can often be just as good for you as the other options available in the store, there’s something to be said for eating seasonally and getting produce at the peak of its ripeness. Many grocery stores promote local produce, but for a truly local experience, you can’t beat the farmer’s market. Luckily, Western New York in the summer is rife with farmer’s markets. I love the farmer’s market experience because you have the opportunity to talk to the people who actually grew your food. For kids, the opportunity to be a step closer to where food actually comes from can be a great experience. I’ve also realized that a farmer’s market encourages me to buy more fruits and vegetables, simply because that’s what’s readily available. At a grocery store, it’s easy to fill your cart with more processed foods, but at the farmer’s market healthy options are on full display. Also, the green beans we picked up at the farmer’s market today made for a delicious side dish.