Before I officially kick off today’s issue, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the protests and riots going on here in Baltimore:
For the past two nights, I’ve fallen asleep to the background sounds of cop car sirens blaring and police helicopters buzzing overhead.
In other words… an average night in downtown Baltimore.
Personally, I’m plugged into what’s going on here about as much as I am any other current event, which is to say… not much. For a perspective the mainstream media aren’t covering (they seem allergic to accuracy these days), tune into what Chris Campbell has to say over at LFT.
Anyway, last Friday, he and I moseyed a few blocks north to visit a local farmer’s market.
There, I met the creator of BNotes, a Baltimore currency accepted by over 225 businesses, and promptly exchanged 10 regular dollars for 11 of them. Thus I increased my purchasing power by one dollar (they’re valued the same as dollars where they’re accepted).
Then we toured the booths.
In a sign of the times, the first we visited to was for an online food-shopping service, Relayfoods.com
They feature an online menu of local organic produce, meats, and more, which you can order online and pick up at multiple locations. And for just $30 per month, they’ll deliver straight to your door… or wherever you want (the rep said as long as we gave usable directions, they’d sneak our food to whatever hideaway we’ve holed ourselves up in).
Not a bad deal. Which is why Chris signed up for it on the spot.
These services could prove especially useful to someone living in assisted living, with limited access to food. All you have to do is find one that delivers and make sure the package gets accepted. Presto, you’ve got local organic produce. Yes, it’ll be more expensive, but when you do the math, you might find the increased nutrition is worth it (especially if you can organize a group effort!).
Relay Foods is just for the Baltimore-Washington area, but services like this exist all over the place. Peapod does the name thing. Heck, even Amazon’s getting in on the action with AmazonFresh. (Amazon seems to deliver everything… except a net profit. Ha.)
Anyway, the last booth we visited featured some kombucha samples and other fermented food products. I have an interesting story about these, which I’ll devote an entire issue to soon.
For now, I’ll make an observation related to the title for this issue — “Grocery Stores Fear This.”
That might be a bit of an overstatement. A more accurate version would probably be “Grocery Stores Should Fear This.”
So what am I talking about?
Local vendors of nutritious food… and savvier customers.
Even as people curtail their spending overall, they’re not skimping on nutrition. Even the notoriously tightwad millennial generation.
Yes, the same age group that steals and passes around copyrighted movies and music like candy. They’re turning off TVs in favor of their smartphones. Heck, the really young crowd is even unplugging from Facebook in favor of greener electronic pastures. Getting them to click on ads, and buy products, is like herding cats with ADHD. And they’ve cheerfully abandoned restaurant brands that have established themselves for decades.
But even they are happily spending more on food. Specifically, healthy, quality food. Honestly, this came as a shock to your editor. But the evidence is piling up.
Chipotle just announced it’s achieved its goal of moving to only non-GMO ingredients. This franchise is stomping all over other fast-food outfits like McDonald’s, even though it’s pricier. Why? Because of slightly higher-quality ingredients. The non-GMO move will only help.
Farmer’s markets are on the rise as well, and youngins are taking part. Even if they’re quasi-illegal, as three of us here at Spy Briefing did several weeks ago.
Some are even becoming their own farmers, by growing food in their own backyards or even using hydroponics. I’ll actually be performing an “indoor farm” experiment of my own, which you’ll read (and see) more about soon.
Central planning and a cost-conscious public are ruining local economies. But mark my words: Food is the one area where local will win the fight. And this is the sort of struggle that benefits your health immediately, should you partake.
I suggest you do.
Underground Health Researcher