Is it just me or does a simple purchase seem much more complex these days? I head to the store in search of eggs, but I can’t figure out which carton to place in my basket. There’s store brand, regular, cage-free, all-natural and organic. What’s the difference between cage-free, all-natural and organic anyway?
As if that isn’t complex enough I’m not sure if I should bypass all of these offerings for a local carton at the farmer’s market. After all, I have no idea where any of these eggs came from or how much fuel it took them to get from there to here.
As I fill my cart with groceries I find myself repeating this same series of questions over and over. It starts in the produce section at the front of the store and continues all the way around to dairy.
Not so long ago I based all of my food purchases solely on price. I compared the prices of each carton of eggs, searched around for a coupon and picked up the one that cost the least. These days price is just one factor in the larger decision.
Now I’m forced to consider the overall health of the product and impact to the environment. After all I don’t want to contribute to polluting the earth or my body with pesticides and toxins. Is it better to buy local or organic? It’s a question that plagues me as I stare at the strawberries.
I started a box garden last year and added a few boxes this spring in hopes of growing produce in my own backyard. I purchased organic seeds and vowed not to spray anything on the tiny seedlings that are beginning to emerge, but those tiny gardens won’t exactly feed me for an entire summer, let alone all year.
So when did the simple act of buying eggs and strawberries become so difficult and what’s a girl to do in light of all of these options?