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It’s Sunday and I need to go grocery shopping for the upcoming week. The workweek is so busy that I save all of my errands and chores until the weekend. Laundry, cleaning the house real well, shopping, and meal prepping usually take up one entire day. I like to have a least one of my two precious days totally off of everything. Everyone needs to have a Sunday Funday once in awhile.
What the world needs is a four-day work week. Can you imagine how much calmer and happier people would be? World Peace, people.
Alas, I digress. Back to groceries.
We eat a lot of produce, especially since we have been eating a more Paleo based diet. Fruits and most veggies are totally in season which means you can really stock up on good quality for really great prices.
Outdoor farmer’s markets are one of my favorite places to buy produce. Be on the lookout in your area and you should start seeing signs that farmer’s markets are stocking up and opening for the season. If you are not familiar with farmer’s markets, you should check one out. They rock.
Benefits of shopping at Farmer’s Markets
1. Provide a large assortment of produce. You can find many fruits and veggies that your local grocery doesn’t provide.
2. Lower Prices. You don’t have to pay a bagger, stocker or their rent.
3. More than produce. In addition to food, farmer’s markets sell handmade soaps, eggs, baked goods, jams and jellies. The list goes on really. I go kinda crazy at these things and can rack up a pretty good bill. Who knew I needed a goat’s milk, lavender, oatmeal face soap bar? Yeah, me either, until I got there and heard it’s siren song. Just keep your head together and you will be fine.
4. Saving the planet. The local grocery’s food is grown across the country and sometimes world (!), picked super early and sprayed with chemicals to keep it fresh until purchase and then driven or flown across the country to land at your grocery store shelf. That’s exhausting. Think of all the energy and fuel wasted to make that happen. That is also why food is more expensive at the store.
5. Supporting local farmers. Farmer’s work hard and we rely on them at least three times a day. Farmer’s markets cut out the middleman and put more profit in the pockets of the farmers. Plus, it’s nice to meet the person who grows your food. This is one of my favorite parts. The last time the kids and I went shopping, we got to meet the farmer who supplied the eggs for that particular market. He even brought a few of his baby chickens for kids to pet. Xan was in love and promptly asked if we could get some egg laying chicks. I am all about it but getting my husband on board is another story.
Once you get your produce home, you will need to clean it. Not only is your produce usually covered with bacteria, non-organic produce has been sprayed with toxic pesticides. You definitely will want to get that off.
Buy organic when you can. For most of us, it is not alway economical to spend more money on organic produce, so using this fruit and veggie cleaner will not only remove the bacteria and little critters but up to 98% of the pesticide residue on the outside of your produce. The DIY fruit and veggie cleaner is super easy and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen!
DIY fruit & veggie cleaner
3 cups cold water
1 cup white vinegar
1. Take a large mixing bowl and add 3 cups cold water and 1 cup white vinegar.
2. Add your produce. Do like with like here. For example, hard skinned fruit together (like citrus), berries together and leafy greens together. That way the big grapefruit doesn’t bruise the soft blackberries. I always wash the outside of produce even if we don’t eat the skin because most of my produce hang out together and could cross contaminate.
3. Let the produce set in the cleaner for 15-20 minutes.
4. Rinse with cold water and let dry completely.
All done and that bacteria, insects and pesticides are rinsed right down the drain.
Check out the funk that was left over after soaking the berries. The photo is a little dark but you can clearly see the dirt and floaty things left behind.