I just found a great site! But before I write about it, let me give you a little background …
My brother Andy just made a Facebook post to his daughter regarding almonds. You’ve read how almonds are good for you, right? I know I have! They’re rich in protein, vitamins and healthy fats. But do you remember the salmonella outbreak that was traced back to almonds in the early 2000’s? Well, thanks to an FDA ruling in 2007, a large percentage of almonds sold at your local grocer are being treated with propylene oxide (PPO) to eliminate future salmonella outbreaks. But is it a case of the cure potentially being worse than the disease? PPO is a chemical compound that has been linked to cancer in animal testing and was listed as a “potential occupational carcinogen” by the CDC in December of last year. It’s been banned by the NHRA as a fuel additive because of the threat it poses to guys in the pits. And yet PPO is being used to pasteurize a large percentage of the almonds sold commercially in the U.S.!
The alternate pasteurization method authorized by the FDA is steaming the nuts to 200 degrees which, while still a better approach (from my perspective) than using PPO, breaks down some of the vitamins and oxidizes the fats.
After reading the above article, I followed another link to the site’s home page and that’s the discovery I wanted to share: EatLocalGrown.com
EatLocalGrown.com looks like it wants to become the Angie’s List for locally-grown food. According to their “How it Works” page, EatLocalGrown.com is a “tool that helps you find, rate and share locally grown food”. It’s zip-code based – you can search in a geographic area to find “farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, grocery/co-ops and also all kinds of artisans like butchers and cheesemakers” (again, this is from their website).
Now I’ve done my share of shopping at Farmers’ Markets in my day. It was an outing (without a closet being involved)! The San Jose Flea Market has a wonderful Farmers’ Market and I used to go there with my family quite a bit. And that got me to wondering whether it would be a good resource while I’m on the road. Sure enough, when I entered zip codes for the various places I’m staying, all of them had at least one and in many cases, quite a few places where you could buy locally-grown vegetables and meat.
The site includes user recommendations and comments, so you can figure out from other people’s experiences whether a particular place is worth going to. The ratings are based on product selection, parking and location. It also offers a variety of articles – not just for the “organic” crowd either! The article that hit my eye was “What to Eat When You’re Broke – Healthy eating strategies for families on a tight budget” … other articles range from “Top 10 Ways to Prepare Kale” to “Top 3 Healthy Cooking Oils” to “Ten Fun and Easy Ways to Cook Eggs” (I thought that was pretty easy until I realized they weren’t talking about fried, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, etc. One thing’s for sure – the “flower power eggs in pepper rings” will be fixed in the Cox home before the weekend is out!)
So … I’ve added this website to the “Resources” directory on my browser … and you can be sure I’ll be using it a fair amount while I’m on the road. After all, it’s not like I’ll be buying a bunch of food at Costco when I’ll be living out of a cooler come June 1st!
Check it out and let me know what you think.