Baby Stepping to Local Food

Late last night, I headed over to our local discount grocery store (WinCo) to pick up a few things when Calvin got home from school.  (I’ve heard this store is a bit similar to an Aldi’s, for those in other areas of the US.)

Their prices make everything seem like a great deal, and it is tempting to load up the cart with “splurges” that I might regret later.  For awhile, I had to avoid this store completely, until I had trained myself to obsessively read labels, and stick to my list.  However, I’ve found that I don’t have to stop shopping this bargain store, as long as I am conscientious about what I am putting in my cart.

I noticed several other customers eyeing me oddly as I examined produce boxes, and compared package labels, but I continued with my shopping nonetheless.  (I did observe one couple that was searching for local items, also!)  I was only in the store for about half an hour, but in my search for products from the Northwest, I discovered an assortment of local items.

They don’t carry much in the way of organic produce- but that’s another baby step! When you buy locally-produced foods, most of the time you will automatically end up buying seasonally as well.  

If you’re used to buying non-organic products, you can still be discerning as to where your food comes from without changing stores.

For some of these products, I’m not sure where their raw materials come from, but at least the final product is shipped locally (baby steps, remember). They do carry locally-baked breads, but upon looking at the ingredients, I definitely recommend baking your own! After sorting through the abundance of California & Mexico-grown produce, here is what I found (and there may be others, so keep looking!):  

  • Radishes from Aurora, Oregon
  • Cucumbers from Washington
  • Onions from Brooks, Oregon
  • Cherries from Hood River, Oregon
  • Tillamook Cheese and Butter from Tillamook, Oregon (I don’t recommend the yogurts and ice creams there, as they contain artificial ingredients.)  
  • Organic Maranatha Peanut Butter from Ashland, Oregon
  • Bulk Bob’s Red Mill Flour from Milwaukie, Oregon
  • Nancy’s Yogurt from Eugene, Oregon
  • Alpenrose Dairy Products from Portland, Oregon (Some of these also contain questionable ingredients; use discernment when purchasing.) 
  • Darigold Dairy Products from Oregon & Washington (Some may have questionable ingredients.) 
  • Eggs from Pasco, Washington
  • Tree Top Juices from Washington

Also, I basically stuck to the outside perimeter of the store. All the produce, perishable items, and bulk sections are located around the edge of the store layout. I save a lot of time and money, by not sorting through the many packaged items within the middle of the store. Look and see what you can find, and stop by and let me know what you get!

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