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|Buying Local in
|by Lisa Vines
|“Locavore” — what does this
mean? The New Yorker recently
published an article on the troubling issues one faces when wanting to
be environmentally friendly. A local farmer might use a lot of
pesticides. An organic farmer in Brazil has to transport his crop
several thousand miles to get to Albany.
Those who want to be locavores in the Northeast will find themselves
facing some challenges while shopping. Wheat, for instance, is usually
transported from distant states. Nuts, coffee, oats, salt and sugars
not maple related all come from locations farther away than 100 miles.
Olive trees don’t do well in this climate, so any olive oil comes from
However, all of these items are available in the Bulk aisle, so
although not buying local foods, a person can be environmentally aware
by eliminating excess packaging. Another “plus” of buying bulk items is
that many of the items do not need refrigeration, so if those items
have been transported, at least the trip was in non-refrigerated
trucks. Nevertheless, there are some items in the Bulk aisle that are
both grown and produced locally. Maple syrup, honey and apple cider
jelly are wonderful examples. One of these items, both grown and
produced within 100 miles of Albany, is maple syrup from Adirondack
Maple Farm in Fonda. It is available in a couple of different grades.
Another natural sweetener, honey, comes from Rulison Honey Farm in
Apple cider jelly comes from Wood’s Cider Mill in Springfield (Vt.),
95.4 miles away — 3.6 miles under the hundred-mile guideline. This
family business has been in operation since 1882; the seventh
generation is still using the original cider press. They make apple
cider and evaporate it to make cider jelly, at a 9:1 concentration.
They add no sweeteners or preservatives. In the Bulk aisle, Wood’s
Cider Jelly is located near the nut butters, to the far right. This is
a wonderful jelly, tart and sweet at the same time. Bring a wide-mouth
jar for purchasing this lovely deep amber product. (See the article
“What’s in Bulk?
Who’s on First?” in the January 2007 Coop Scoop.)
A relatively new product in the bulk aisle is produced locally,
although some of the ingredients come from locations over a hundred
miles away. Salad Essentials, a best seller from a local company called
Our Daily Nuts, is now available in the Bulk aisle. Salad Essentials is
a mixture of sliced almonds from California, maple syrup from Maple
Hill Farm in Cobleskill, sea salt purchased at the Co-op, and cayenne.
It’s a tasty topping for a salad. This very small, family-owned
business has its headquarters in Delmar, just six miles from the Co-op.
As mentioned above, some foods are not grown locally. But the Co-op
does support local companies and this article highlights those
suppliers no farther than 100 miles away. Champlain Valley Milling,
located in Westport, supplies several organic flours and berries in the
Bulk aisle. Dancing Star Farm in Claremont (Mass.) makes “Chunks of
Energy,” available in a number of flavors. (See the January 2007 Coop
Scoop for more information.) A final company whose products were
within a hundred-mile radius, and are available in the Bulk aisle, is
Tierra Farms. This company, located in Valatie, creates nut butters,
nuts and mixed nuts.
Barrett, New York Harvest Food Company, Delmar.
Foods at Honest Weight Food Co-op” brochure.
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