John Wolfram wrote:Grocery stores are really good at delivering a large quantity of food to a large quantity of people. As noted, they certainly do produce a fair amount of waste, but I would be shocked if they were more wasteful than farmers markets when viewed on a waste per pound of food delivered. Also, grocery stores give people the option of purchasing inexpensive food. People like to be nostalgic for farming 75 or 100 years ago, but lets not forget that people spent two or three times as much on food then (relative to their disposable incomes) as they do now.
The great news is that high quality / high price food products are becoming available once more and people have the option to go with high price/quality or low price/quality...and I am in favor of giving people options.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:My housemate's friend has been going through a rough time--anxiety, depression, difficulty thinking straight. last night she stopped by and it took her an hour to motivate herself to go grocery shopping. "I hate grocery stores," she said.
I don't hate grocery stores. I can find them annoying, I don't thrill to be inside them usually, but I don't hate them.
They are a good source of food for us while we're building the infrastructure for the new world.
They are an excellent source for dumpster-diving (she is a dumpster diver and enjoys doing that quite a lot, it gives her a sense of meaning and satisfaction), allowing one to live by some permaculture principles almost immediately without having sown a single seed--you can use available resources, turn waste into resource, capture and retain good, and all for free.
I know it's hard for her to focus her thoughts on what feels good, and I didn't try to say anything, just to communicate with my body language that it's all going to be OK. But I thought I'd post about it here.
It's frustrating that the grocery store is, in so many ways, a huge step backward from the fresh-from-the-homestead food we used to have, the greater variety of breeds of each given vegetable or grain or nut, etc. But it is also in other ways some steps forward. The greater diversity of plants from different parts of the world is something you can readily grab seeds from and throw them in your soil. The ease and convenience of the grocery store does provide us with time to set up lazy farms, easier than what our ancestors dealt with. If we were dependent on our own homestead's crops and had nothing to fall back on, we might not have the room to experiment with a radically different design.
Our friend is the sort of person I really want to help. My heart goes out to her--so much to offer the world, so much intelligence and caring. It feels better to think of the world adjusting around people like her to become a more life-giving, nourishing one.
Dustin Rhodes wrote:The ideal grocery store, in my mind:
They pick up the fresh produce/meats/dairy/baked goods that day
set out at store alongside the dry and preserved inventory
sell until dinnertime
storefront is now a restaurant - all unsold, perishable food items are now ingredients for the dish being served that day.
All perishable food after closing is harvested for seed, propagated, fed to livestock, and/or composted.
Cycle begins again the next day.
Ideally you're in partnership with your supplier, who respects your setup and plans crop availability with you(staggering ripeness times, selling compatible(cuisine-wise) varieties of produce, etc.)
Kenneth Elwell wrote:I can't imagine that the "sell-by-today" chicken isn't made into the chicken salad for tomorrow... or the meat into meatloaf... veggies trimmed and cut up for salads...