Benefits of Shopping at Food Co-Ops
Choosing healthy food and clean products for your family is becoming more convenient thanks to food co-ops. Most are geared towards providing goods that are free of harmful pesticides or hormone-based additives. These establishments also offer education relating to food and are dedicated to engaging with the community on environmental and social issues. Here is a sampling of what co-ops have to offer.
Ditch the drive-throughs and go with take-out food prepared and processed on site. Dishes are usually made from scratch and contain the same ingredients that are for sale in the store. A hot food display provides excellent options when there isn’t time to cook after a long day at work. Locally raised meat and poultry are great for weekend grilling and do not contain the nitrates and preservatives found in big box store selections. Pasture-raised livestock is generally lower in fat content, thus reducing the number of calories. If your community is located near bodies of water, seafood harvested the same day is usually available.
Wholesome Produce and Dry Goods
Crispy and delicious fruit and vegetables are a centerpiece of co-ops. An abundance of herbicide-free offerings can be found. Many are grown in your area as well as imported from all over the world. Check out the bulk goods section to find grains, rice, nuts and seeds. Buying in larger quantities can save you money in the long run with the staples that you consume the most. The supplement and vitamin section is chock full of alternatives to the generic, low-quality pills found elsewhere. In general, the product being sold contains more of the advertised minerals and less of the filler that provides little to no benefit.
Education and Classes
Another popular feature of co-ops is an emphasis on community outreach. You may have access to cooking classes that equip you with the knowledge to master Asian cuisine or how to make the perfect holiday meal. They may offer education on how organic food is cultivated and the safety practices involved with it. For those with a do-it-yourself mentality, gardening information will help bolster your crops. Tours of farms and growing operations may also be a possibility. An element of trust between grower and consumer is fostered when people are able to interact with those who manage the enterprises. Witnessing the methods of a thriving and viable farmstead keeps people interested and motivated in the food they purchase.