In the past year or so, my husband and I have become very fond of "supporting local". This comes with a price, as small businesses have no way to compete with the large scale, over produced mass of clothing, food, etc that you can get at any of the large stores like Costco, Superstore, Walmart….well you get my drift. Don't get me wrong, I still shop at all those places, but I'm starting to become aware of, and seek out, what is made and grown around me and how I can make a difference by supporting my neighbour, in a sense. Not only that, but with the growing media surrounding our food these days, what is sprayed on it (those delicious pesticides), put in it (pink slime anyone?), where it comes from (thanks China for making almost….everything), or who's making it (let's support those 6 years olds!) can kinda make you sick to your stomach. I'm not saying this to offend, but let's face it, this is what we are deciding with every purchase we make, whether we realize it or not.
Yes, we can buy organic foods now, free trade labels are popping up everywhere, and thank goodness for that health food aisle that makes us feel good. I like to buy those things as well and you're more then likely to find me wandering up and down that aisle. Those products can be more expensive, but quality usually is. However, how is this helping those around me who are making, growing and selling those very same things? And how do we really know where it's all coming from? What are those ingredients that I can't pronounce? I'm tired of filling my body with food that is filled with unnecessary ingredients and sometimes paying more for it. Corn is in everything and made into almost every form. Antibiotics and hormones are injected into our meats, corn is fed to these animals, thus causing the meat to need ammonia baths, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are rampant, artificial food coloring and flavors ravage foods of all kinds, fruit and vegetables are picked early and then chemically ripened after the fact. These are just a few of the things that we can easily avoid.
Thus I've decided to begin a new series. How long or how short it is is slightly dependant on you, my readers. There are local businesses, around Medicine Hat and beyond, that I would like to feature and support and my challenge to you is, try them out! I dare you. Will you pay more for what you're getting? Only a little. Is it better then what you'd get in a chain store? Absolutely. Is it healthier and more delicious? Yes. Is it worth it. Heck yes! Your wellbeing and health is ALWAYS worth it. But the problem is that I only have just a few businesses thus far.
With that said, here's my other challenge and proposition to you. If you know of a local business (someone who grows or makes something and sells it locally, not a chain store), that you think is amazing, does their best to be original, healthy, organic, not adding sprays or toxins or anything else to their products, and is looking out for the wellbeing of us all, tell me about them so I can look into their business and then maybe do a feature on them to help support their business and get the word out. I don't care where you're from. I have readers from all over the world and I want you to all find businesses around you who are trying to make a difference for the better in our world. Nominate someone who you think should be featured on my blog, or direct those businesses to my blog, so we can help spread the word about their business. I've become quite passionate about this and about being healthy and eating healthy and watching where I put my money. It has especially stirred up since I've become wheat intolerant. Interestingly enough, however, I've discovered it's only the altered, new strains of wheat that affect me (which is what is in most everything you'll find at the store). Where there used to be 3 or 4 varieties, there are now 30 - 40 different varieties. Gluten levels have increased in most of them to allow for lighter, fluffier breads and protein levels have decreased in many of them. They are still safe to consume, and delicious to boot, just not for me. The original strains of wheat I can eat! There is a business that sells it, and I hope to feature them soon.
So with all that said, I end this entry with this proposition in your hands. Help me spread the word and help me share these often looked over little gems. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me about your favourite local businesses and why you love them.
Stay tuned for my first local business feature: TLC Farms
Enjoy these last weeks of summer, head out to the market, and bask in the warmth of the summer sun.