Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE Now that you are well versed in the nutrient dense foods your body needs to thrive, the somewhat tr...

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FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

Now that you are well versed in the nutrient dense foods your body needs to thrive, the somewhat trickier question is where to actually find them! Not everyone has access to the same food resources, nor can everyone afford to shop at some of the higher end “organic” stores for everything we eat. This sourcing guide will help you discover what options you have to choose from so that you can source the highest quality food that meets your budget and serves your location.

START LOCAL Farmer’s Markets, CSAs & Co-ops Farmer’s markets are usually once weekly (though sometimes they are constant) gatherings where local farmers bring their goods to a public place so you can purchase them without traveling out to each farm. Many of these farms also offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, which are weekly subscription based programs where you pay a set price to have a box of produce delivered (or you may need to pick it up from a drop-off location) each week. Some CSAs are year round while others are tailored to a shorter local growing season, but either way it means farm-fresh produce will effortlessly end up in your kitchen and on your plate! Many of these farms also have animal shares that allow you to buy

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

a ¼ or ½ a cow at considerable cost savings. Usually, the prices at farmer’s markets and with CSA subscriptions are cheaper than what you find at the grocery store because there is no middle man marking up the cost to make a profit. You support your local community and get the freshest food in return! Co-ops are sort of a hybrid between farmer’s markets and grocery stores as they are brick and mortar stores that carry produce, meat, dairy, eggs, etc. grown by your local farmers (or regional farmers) in addition to more widely produced items. This is a great option when you can’t get to a farmer’s market.

To find a farmer’s market, CSA, or co-op near you, visit LocalHarvest.org

Local Farms & Ranches Visiting local farms and ranches is a great way to support the local economy, create a visceral connection to where your food comes from, and even provide some adventure for the family. Many farms and ranches offer scheduled tours or you can always reach out to arrange your own. Here are some potential questions from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association you can ask farmers and ranchers when

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

you visit. Just make sure to always practice patience, respect, and curiosity. And remember that you always have a choice about what you buy and from whom. For produce farms:



Why do you farm?



How do you decide which products to grow?



What kind of fertilizers do you use?



How do you deal with your weeds? Insects? Diseases?



What farming techniques do you use (i.e. crop rotation)?



Do you grow all the products that you sell?



Do you have any recipe recommendations/suggestions?

For livestock:



What type of livestock do you raise?



How do you feed them? What do you feed them? Do you use organic feed?



Do you use hormones or antibiotics?



Do you provide them with access to the outdoors? Are they pasture-raised, free-range, or confined?

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE



How do you process your animals? Do you do it or does someone else?

For value-added goods such as jams, baked goods, and canned goods:



Do you grow all your raw ingredients?



If not, where do you source your supplemental ingredients?



Are these ingredients local and organic?



How do you prepare, store, cook your products?

Eat Wild This amazing database allows you to search by state for a comprehensive list of local farms that are producing pastureraised meats, dairy, and eggs in your area. If you aren’t sure where to find farmers near you that grow and raise foods the right way, this site is invaluable.

EatWild.com

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

Seasonal Food Guide As you discover all the wonderful local options you have for fresh food, you can use this seasonal food guide to help plan your shopping list and ensure you are taking advantage of the best prices and getting the most nutrient dense options all year.

SeasonalFoodGuide.org

HAVE FOOD DELIVERED Thrive Market Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. The online retailer offers organic, natural convenience foods and household products at wholesale prices. While they do not carry fresh items, it is one of the most affordable places to get those specialty items like crackers, bars, grain-free flours, or even natural diapers, shampoo, and baby toys. You can search by category or by values such as paleo, raw, or gluten-free. Thrive may not fill your fridge, but it can help you stock your pantry with easy, minimally processed, healthier snack,

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

baking, and quick meal options and household goods. See the savings and make your transition a bit easier.

ThriveMarket.com

US Wellness Meats Four cattle ranches in Missouri raise most of the grass-fed and finished beef sold by US Wellness Meats. The rest of their items come from small family farms that are raising animals according to the traditions of our ancestors. You can rest easy knowing that anything you purchase from this company will have been raised outdoors with no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics and the farmers follow practices according to the principles of nature. In addition to fresh cuts of meat, US Wellness Meats also carries speciality items like sausage, jerky, pemmican, and liverwurst.

GrasslandBeef.com

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

Tropical Traditions While they specialize in handcrafted coconut products from the Philippines, Tropical Traditions also carries a wide variety of organic, nutrient dense foods including pastured chickens, soyfree eggs, fermented foods and both household and personal care items. If you enjoy using coconut products, or need a mail-order source for high quality staples, Tropical Traditions takes quality and sourcing seriously.

HealthyTraditions.com

ButcherBox Born from the founder’s desire to find high quality meats for his three children, ButcherBox is a great way to get meat from animals that are raised humanely, naturally, and sustainably. All of the beef is 100% grass-fed and finished and they spend their entire lives on the pasture. The chickens are either free-range organic or pasture-raised and always have plenty of access to the outdoors and space to move around. They even carry heritage breed pork that is either raised on the pasture or in open space with room to engage in natural behaviors. If you can’t connect with a local farmer to get properly raised meats, ButcherBox monthly

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

deliveries are a wise investment. Check out their standard options or customize your own delivery box.

ButcherBox.com

Vital Choice Carrying only the top 1% of sustainably harvested wild seafood available, Vital Choice is an excellent resource for ensuring the seafood on your table is safe and nutrient dense. They have both flash frozen, canned, and smoked options as well as a variety of other seasonings, sauces, and Omega 3 supplements. Many grocery stores only carry farmed seafood that is not only less tasty, but also less nutrient-dense, so check out Vital Choice to up your seafood game!

VitalChoice.com

Azure Standard Group Based in Oregon, Azure Standard is a company that gathers food from independent producers and farmers in their warehouse and

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Food Sourcing Guide

FOOD SOURCING GUIDE

allows you to order them to either be shipped directly to your door, or to save money by joining a local delivery group and having your items delivered by truck to a drop spot with orders from other people in your community. This online grocery service stands out because you can actually buy fresh food like produce and cheese, which most delivery based food shops don’t offer. They also offer a wide variety of household products, personal care products and more. This is a wonderful option if you don’t have local farmers raising/growing the foods you want.

AzureStandard.com

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Food Sourcing Guide