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where are you buying your veggies?

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Old 03-19-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default where are you buying your veggies?

I am by no means veggie challenged, I love vegetables and always have, whatever weight I was (mainly I just never took the time to cook/prepare them, and I do also love cheese and bread and ice cream and you get the picture!).
I came on here though because I have recently encountered some friends of mine in far away places who hated vegetables and when I questioned them about it I realised why. It was the type of vegetables they were having.

A lot of people do not realise that there is an extreme difference in taste and quality between the vegetables you buy at Safeway/Albertsons/etc. and what you would buy at Whole Foods or another health food store. And you get a whole other level of quality from a farmer's market - and it's cheaper too! There is nothing like buying directly from the farmer.

If you think you hate "salad" I would ask - are you having it with iceberg lettuce? I would hate that too! But a nice, lightly coloured Romaine lettuce (try the hearts of romaine, 3 in a ziploc baggy those are the best parts) is just divine. I wouldn't touch a shiny red apple from Safeway, those are absolutely disgusting and flavourless. But a reddish-yellowish Fuji apple from Whole Foods, will be tasty and oh-so-juicy (will help with dehydration from weight loss, and a super healthy snack).

Do you know that there are ways to choose a vegetable so it is ripest and tastiest? Only eat a tomato if it is bright red, not orangish in any way! Avocados need to have a bit of softness to them when you squeeze them but no so it'll make an imprint. Celery should be nearly white, and spinach leaves should be thick, curly and nearly 3-5 inches in size!

Please excuse me if I appear patronizing, it's just I have been raised in Northern California, eating healthy, organic foods and going to Farmer's Markets and I was shocked to discover there are lots of people who do not know how to pick a vegetable or cook a vegetable or what kinds of vegetables are tasty. To be frank, I would not consider much of what I see in the vegetable/fruit section at Safeway to be food!

Anyway, I am a supreme veggie lover and advocate (vegetarian since 9 too), so if there is anything I can do to help - hit me with questions!

Oh and, as my subject stated, I would really like to know where you are getting your vegetables from. Are you getting them from Whole Foods and Farmer's Markets and still not liking them?
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:20 AM   #2
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I'd love to get my fruits/vegs from Whole Foods, but the nearest one is about an hour's drive away! Fortanutely, in a few months, I'll be living a lot closer, I might see if Mom and Grandma (whom I'm moving in with temporarily) would consider going whole foods if I made the shopping runs.

ATM, there's Farmer's Markets on Tuesdays, but I'm usually so busy that i forget about it! Is there really a HUGE difference between farmer's market and say, HEB quality food? Just was curious.

I like some fruits and most of the vegs from the supermarket I go to, but sometimes I wonder...
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Mostly Whole Foods and/or a local veggie stand or farmers market.
They are more expensive at Whole Foods, but the seem to usually taste better and we waste less. I also got some of the Green Bags there and they do seem to ****** spoilage.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:45 AM   #4
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I usually just pick up fruits & veg at my local Stop & Shop. And I don't mind that I like vegetables & fruits so I don't mind taking the time to pick out the nice ones.

I will say though that nothing compares to a nice Farmer's Market. There's a place up near my fiancée's apt that sells this amazingly fresh produce. I was wide-eyed with wonder when I saw and tasted the difference. When we're up there we make the extra stop, and yes, pay a little extra money. WORTH IT!

Imagine a place where the "worst" produce is actually better than the "best" that you would find at a chain grocery place. That's what this place is like. It's a shorter trip because I don't have to examine all that much!

Anyway, I can't wait to be spoiled by it every week when I live up there later this year.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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I buy from a CSA that I belong to. I get a large delivery weekly, fresh from the farm that day.

I also buy from "health food" stores and Whole Foods.

I buy organic and local.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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I can't wait until May 3rd (that's when the farmer's market opens!!!) Lately I've had to buy our veggies and fruit at regular stores, but I only buy what looks good and I buy organic.

Local produce is best. It doesn't have to travel as far and can be picked ripe, therefore it tastes better! Plus, your money is going back in to your local economy, which is a big plus to me.

I have a tiered approached to buying my veggies, I buy them in this order and I prefer not to go below number 2:

1. Organic local
2. Local no pesticides used (but not certified)
3. Conventional local (only things that do not have a heavy pesticide load)
4. Organic from the supermarket
5. Conventional from the supermarket (again, only if low in pesticide residue)

I would love to do an organic CSA again. The closest one we've been able to find is 100 miles away though and it's only 75% organic.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:12 PM   #7
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Zenor - where in Central WA are you? One of my sisters lives in EBurg and she prefers to buy produce along the same line as you do. I'm not sure if she does a CSA or not, but I know she buys a lot (not produce though) through Azure Standard and it is delivered to a drop off spot. I know she got all her organic starts from them last year for her garden. And those tomatoes and peppers were wonderful. I lived in Yakima until last fall and I loved the farmers market. It was small, but there were a few good organic farms there.

I'm planning to start receiving from a CSA shortly. Cannot wait!
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:28 AM   #8
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Tight budget so unfortunately I can't eat organic (we live in FL... not a lot of farms anywhere near where I live!), I miss it sooooo much.

We buy from the local produce stand. Some people have a hard time with this because they don't go and buy at the right time / have the right place.

The one I go to is air conditioned. I do mean 2 window systems, that's all. Not central. I asked... they get their shipments every single day monday through saturday at 9 AM. It's fully unloaded by 11. So we go at 11. We get the fruits and veggies while they're still fresh and cold off the truck.

It's a produce place, so of course it's hit and miss. Sometimes they have shallots, sometimes they don't. Sometimes tomatoes are 99 cents a pound, sometimes they're 49 cents.

Most of the things stay roughly the same. All apples, pears and grapes are 99 cents a pound. Green peppers range from 3-5 for a dollar. Corn ranges from 4-6 for a dollar.

This may sound high to some, and incredibly cheap to others. This is a major deal for us. Grapes are 3.99 a pound here at the grocery stores. Even on sale they're usually 1.99.

Lettuce of course wilts throughout the day and it's busy so pickings get slim as the day goes on, you only have the worst ones left. Which is why we go at 11.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:51 AM   #9
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lol, I live in Marin County, near San Francisco, one of the most expensive counties in the world - $3.99lb for grapes sounds cheap to me!
Luckily though, the produce is pricy but amazing. There is even a local farmstand a minute from where I live, literally out in a field with a big truck selling food they grew right there. My favourite is the spinach, it is my favourite food now, when it is good in the summer I put spinach in everything - salad, soup, pasta, cous cous, rice, stir fry, eggs - they all taste better with a bit of fresh spinach! I am absolutely addicted to spinach salads, especially when the farm fresh tomatoes come in. Mmmmm. I make home made salad dressing too, vegetarian creamy ceasar.
I know that I spend more than my budget allows on food (I also have 4-shot mocha habit which amounts to about $20 a week in coffee!), but it has really helped with my weight loss. I definitely spend more than I ought to on food and spend more time than I can afford preparing it, but really I can't think of anything more important in your life than taking care of your body. Because if your body isn't in good shape the rest of you can't function either.

Thanks for all your responses, it's cool to get this thread going about natural foods, organic veggies etc. I do still wonder if/who out there doesn't know about the gospel of better tasting vegetables? I would imagine this would make a huge difference for some in terms of their like or dislike of veggies.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starofsorrow View Post
I'd love to get my fruits/vegs from Whole Foods, but the nearest one is about an hour's drive away! Fortanutely, in a few months, I'll be living a lot closer, I might see if Mom and Grandma (whom I'm moving in with temporarily) would consider going whole foods if I made the shopping runs.

ATM, there's Farmer's Markets on Tuesdays, but I'm usually so busy that i forget about it! Is there really a HUGE difference between farmer's market and say, HEB quality food? Just was curious.

I like some fruits and most of the vegs from the supermarket I go to, but sometimes I wonder...
I don't know what 'HEB' quality food is, but there is definitely a HUGE difference between Farmer's Markets and pretty much anywhere else to buy food. The primary reason is this: if a farmer is picking crops for a grocery store they cannot pick a peach that is ripe and soft. That peach must be loaded onto the truck, driven to the store, unpacked from the truck, sit on the shelf and wait to be purchased. That is, at best even in a Whole Foods type store, I would guess a 3 day lag time. Have you ever seen what happens to a peach 3 days after it is ripe? It isn't pretty! So, they have to pick fruits when they are hard and not ready to be eaten, and let them ripen in the store/during the process. Some fruits, like peaches, will never get properly ripe if they do not ripen on a tree. Chances are good, if you have not been to a farmer's market or farm stand you do not know what a ripe peach tastes like. Strawberries also, are almost useless from a supermarket except for about 1 week a year. When fruit ripens on the vine the flavour is intensified (let's not even get into the refrigeration process in transport), and it tastes the way it is really meant to, from mother nature! For that it should not require any kind of sweeteners or enhancements.

Btw, I live out in the country and my nearest Whole Foods is 45 minutes away, luckily I can supplement with food here and there from a local organic co-op which has excellent but *very* expensive produce. I go to Whole Foods about once a week though and stock up. I would definitely encourage the Whole Foods runs, trust me - after your Mom and Grandma taste the difference they will be okay with it!! And, it should ultimately make a big difference in your ability to lose weight (if vegetables taste better than potato chips, it's got to help right?), which should encourage them too.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:33 PM   #11
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All right! Thanks for the heads up, I'll be sure to head off to the Farmer's Market tomorrow to see what kinda fruit they have! Most of the fruit HAVE tasted really sour to me at the HEB (It's probably like, Walmart's and Costco...if you know of those stores, it's a supermarket chain that's only in Texas as far as I know). Thanks for the information, I had no clue that it largely depended on when the food were picked in accordance to their flavor!
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