How Long Can You Go Without the Grocery Store?
by Evan DeMarco on Jun 21, 2022
Committing to being a more ethical consumer in today’s fast-paced world can be a daunting prospect. We’re already busy juggling the many hats we all wear in our daily lives—employee, parent, partner and more. In addition to managing all the things we already have on our plates, how can we find the time and energy to continue showing up in our ethical pursuits of world improvement?
Even amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, there are small steps we can all take to make strides toward reducing our impact and advancing the important work of regenerative agriculture.
For example, how often do you visit the grocery store? If you’re interested in committing to this work, one small step you can take is examining your regular consumption habits and working to reduce your spending at big box supermarkets in favor of local farmers, ranchers and artisans. How might this improve your environmental impact? Read on to learn more.
Minimizing impact by reducing degrees of separation
It’s easy for us to become complacent in our routine actions and allow them to go unchecked. When we run out of staple foods in our diets, we run out to the store and buy them. With the ease and convenience of grocery stores, many of us don’t even think about how often we go. But in this mindless errand we may run as frequently as every day or two, it’s easy to forget to practice ethical consumerism.
Where did the product you're buying come from? How was it produced? In purchasing it, what or who are you supporting? Unfortunately, in a society that keeps consumers so far removed from the production of their foods, it can be hard to understand the full implications of buying seemingly innocuous products.
Many products are labeled “cage-free,” “free-range” or “organic” in an attempt to make shopping ethically easier. While many debate whether or not they’re actually effective in doing so—since the meanings of these words have become blurred and diluted over the years—they at least provide guideposts for consumers striving to shop ethically. But what about the products that don’t come with these labels?
Naturally, shopping at the grocery store isn’t inherently unethical, but it can be a burden to navigate through the lens of ethical consumerism. If you’re looking to challenge your routine and start to incorporate more local or regeneratively-produced goods into your home, why not try to reduce the frequency of your grocery store visits? When you need to restock your pantry, freezer or fridge, consider trying one of these options instead of paying a visit to your local big box grocery store:
- Shop at a local farmers market: The farmers market is a great way to reduce the degrees of separation between you and the person who produced your food, allowing you to be more directly informed about the process. Get to know local farmers, ranchers and other vendors whose values you align with, and support their work directly. Farmers markets frequently sell not only fruits and veggies, but also eggs, cheese, dairy, fish, meat, honey, jams, bread, pastries and more.
- Regenerative delivery subscriptions: Since not everyone has local access to regenerative goods, you can order goods from a producer you believe in from the comfort of your home—like the meat we ship out each month to Club Regenerative members! By sourcing goods online, you can thoroughly research the company you’re buying from to ensure they’re in line with your values.
- Start a garden of your own: While not an overnight solution, growing your own herbs, vegetables or legumes at home is an option that can be scaled to any environment to reduce the frequency of your trips to the grocery store. Whether you have enough room to plant a whole garden in your yard, or just enough space for a small hydroponic garden in your apartment, supplementing your diet with foods grown on your own is a great way to save money and reduce reliance on large supply chains.
Sometimes it feels impossible to avoid supporting harmful systems that do not align with our morals and values, especially living in modern society. But while it does require effort and intention, it’s not impossible to reduce your impact and take charge of your habits.
While these may seem like small steps to take, using your money to support local, regenerative agricultural efforts over the convenience of big chain supermarkets can have a significant impact. Not only will doing so boost demand for ethically grown products, it will also increase your connection to your community and improve your health.