One of the main reasons we have chosen the homesteading lifestyle is to provide high quality, fresh food to our table. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of fake foods and GMO produce.
When we buy food in the mainstream market, whether at the grocery store or a restaurant, we always have to wonder how healthy it is for us. It is hard to trust the ingredients because when you look on the back of the box, it is filled with words we don’t know and chemical names.
One of the best ways to increase the health of you and your family is to eat more clean food. Food that has less than 5 ingredients or that are ingredients themselves. To read more about real food and why it is important, check out this blog post–> Cooking Real Food and Why It’s Important.
And where do we find fresh food for our families?
6 Ways to Get Fresh Food For Your Family:
The most ideal way to get fresh food is from your own garden.
That is where you can oversee how things are grown and what chemicals (if any) are being used in the process. You also know what kinds of seeds were used for the plants.
I love to make a summer salad, knowing that everything in the bowl was grown in my garden.
But since most of us don’t have a greenhouse and don’t live in Hawaii (although we would probably like to), garden produce is not available all year long.
We do our best to use food preservation techniques to make the food last as long as possible, but most people don’t have the ability to live off of their garden all year long.
2. Farmers Market:
The next best place to find fresh food is to go to a farmers market in your area.
In our area we have a large farmers market June – October and then a smaller winter farmers market in the off season. The farmers market is also a great place to find like minded people who share your passion for fresh food.
Most of the time, if you ask the sellers about how they produce their products, they would be happy to tell you about their farming practices.
3. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture):
A CSA is a program where you can buy straight from the farm whatever they are producing that week.
For farmers, a CSA means they can get paid early in the season for producing all summer long. They also get to know the people that are buying their food. Sometimes the buyer even comes and helps on the farm.
For consumers, they get to develop a relationship with the farmer that is producing the food. They get to try different foods throughout the season. These foods are fresh and healthy for their families, straight from the farm.
To find a CSA in your area, type your zip code into this website and see what is available.
4. Bountiful Baskets:
Bountiful Baskets is a program that uses the buying power of many people together to get fresh food delivered to one location for pick up.
Here is what their website states:
Sally Stevens and Tanya Jolly started Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op in May of 2006. It was a winning combination from the beginning. Tanya and Sally both had experience running their own small food co-ops that were not web based. As their small co-ops grew it challenged them to think of a way to keep up as more families were wanting to save money on healthy food. Adding a little bit of e-commerce technology to the mix was just the trick. Since May of 2006 BBFC has grown from 2 sites and an average of 120 families a cycle participating, to hundreds of sites in 16 states and countless participating families! In April of 2011 BBFC started to offer 100% organic baskets every week at nearly every site.
The Co-op offers a conventional produce basket very other week which is generally ½ fruit and ½ veggies. The monetary contribution is $15.00 and is generally worth $50.00 retail. Organic baskets require a contribution of $25.
To participate visit Bountiful Baskets and check the schedule to see when your state is available to make your monetary contribution using a debit or credit card. Then, pick up your basket on Saturday morning at the time and place you chose when you contributed!
5. Meal Kit Delivery Services:
Meal kit delivery services are all the rage right now. There are several to choose from, but basically you order meals online (with or without a subscription) and fresh food and instructions are delivered to your door to make healthy meals for your family.
But if you have a small family or you want the convenience of having fresh food delivered to your door, you might want to check out these options. I believe all 3 have introductory offers so you can try them out for less.
6. Grocery Store:
This is where we are used to getting our food.
How can we still get our food here when we need to and get the freshest possible?
- Shop the outside perimeter of the store. That is usually where the produce, meats, dairy and bakery are.
- Try to buy organic and local if possible. There has been a real push lately to have more local food at the grocery store, which I think is wonderful! Use the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 Rule to govern what you buy organic and what you can buy non-organic according to the pesticide residue (typically thicker skinned produce has less residue).
- Above all, try to eat clean, non-processed food that is in the freshest state available.
I hope this has helped you see that there are many places to get fresh food if you know where to look. The ideal would be to only get food from our homestead, but we can’t start out that way.
The more food you can get from non-grocery store sources, the better. This way of eating is more work that running through the drive thru, but it is definitely worth it. Your body will thank you.
Where do you get your freshest food? Leave a comment below and let us know. And if this post was helpful, please share. Thanks!