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View Diary: The looming antibiotic crisis can't be solved by the free market (248 comments)

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  •  I am lucky enough (3+ / 0-)

    to live in one of those "hip enclave" areas, where customer lobbying some years ago got most big area grocery chains to label their produce for country/state of origin, carry nice selections of locally grown fruits and veggies, local raw honeys, locally produced value-addeds (honey, condiments, jams and jellies, fried and dried veggie chips, etc.), and dedicate whole sections to certified organic produce. They also carry organic label canned and box goods, right there amongst the regular selections in the aisles. There are also many local and regional farmer's markets large and small, I can find one almost any day of the week for nine months a year.

    Without that, I'd advise shopping at markets that advertise organics, and seek out organic selections at your regular grocery store, quite a few are offering these days because people are willing to pay a few cents more - they fly off the shelves. There are several association labels out there for organically grown, non-GMO products from farmers who have chosen not to jump through USDA's hoops for certification. Monsanto's been busy-busy trying hard to subvert the whole enterprise since the beginning, and they've succeeded on some levels. I obtain grain from local producers in the valley who have more land than I do and a tractor to work it with. Wheat, barley, corn and oats. I can grind at home, but if I want rolled multi-grains for hot cereal and breads I buy in bulk from EarthFare or Amazing Savings (great organic collections). Also grow herbs, veggies and fruit (peaches, cherries, apples, pears and grapes - muscadine, concord and zinfandel) on my homestead, and make wine, wine and balsamic vinegars, dried fruit mixes, pickles, veggie-herb table salts, powdered soup stocks, etc.

    A trip twice a month to the regional farmer's market can be fun. Take the kids (some have enclosures with miniature horses and goats and such), maybe a couple of neighbors, friends or relatives and share the experience. If you aren't sure of something, just ask the vender point-blank. I have never had one lie to me about how the food was grown or if it's a GMO cultivar. Most keep those well separate at their spaces so they can get that premium for organics when the right customer comes along. Think about joining a local CSA [Community Supported Agriculture], usually one or several small farms that specialize in certain crops/products, for which you purchase a 'share' early in the year to help them buy seeds and do the work. You get a nice box or bag of fresh food once a week, whatever's coming in at the time.

    •  somebody gave me a grain mill a few years ago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      and I have never used it.

      Perhaps I should?  I could buy bulk grain at the local organic market, and grind it into my own flour?

      How would one make the equivalent of "white flour" if one grinds grain at home?  Which grains, do you know?

      Thanks!

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I grind red wheat (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        concernedamerican

        as I need it, haven't used white flour for years. Since the germ is removed as well as the bran from white flour, I don't know how you'd get it at home. But you can set your mill to grind coarse or fine, and if you run it through 'fine' more than once, it's good for pastry or cakes.

        Mostly I use my mill for corn. Grow Indian and blue corn. Which so far isn't GMO but any big lot may contain transgene contamination. Corn pollen can travel on the wind for miles and contaminate fields. I still can't believe they were allowed to create these and turn them loose on the world indiscriminately. Transgenes are promiscuous - are DESIGNED to be promiscuous - and do get around.

        •  Wheat, or wheat berries? How does it come at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          the health food store?  (No other way to get it where I live.)  I'll have to find out.

          Thanks!!!

          That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

          by concernedamerican on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:11:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comes already threshed, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            concernedamerican

            as berries. You'll get germ in your flour, but little to no bran. You can order whole organic grains over the internet, there are lots of dealers and a range of prices. But then you've got to pay shipping, which can make it much cheaper at the health food store in small amounts.

            My region has several buying cooperatives for hard staple items. That's a group of people who get together and order enough bulk to get the volume discount and free shipping. Getting that volume takes awhile, so you shouldn't be in a hurry.

            If there's a Co-Op near you, members can sometimes add a bushel to the outlet's order for grain and get it at a significant discount plus Co-Op overhead. Wheat's averaging $6 to $8+ a bushel on the commodities market, and a bushel of wheat is 60 pounds. Average price of wheat berries retail is more than a dollar a pound from organic outlets (sometimes double that), so $20-$30 for 60 pounds is a very good price.

            But for many it's just more convenient to buy already ground grain. Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur both have certified organic lines available in most good-sized grocery stores. If you put the stuff in jars and store in the freezer, it'll keep well for as long as it lasts.

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