I’m actually surprised that this is all I spent on this week’s worth of groceries. It’s very simple this week and yet I did end up shopping at three different stores to find all that I needed. I had to go to the health food store for nutritional yeast, Safeway (I loath this store) for most of my produce since they carry a largest variety and then Overwaitea for the few staples like butter, tofu, tamari, tahini…

I hate that the only non artificial flavoured/coloured thing that Safeway carries that I buy is Safflower Oil. This was actually really hard for me to find in Nanaimo so I’m thrilled I can buy it here at all. Chocolate chips, tortilla chips, butter, tamari, tahini… and a few other items all seem to have ingredient lists including artificial or chemical additives, gmo, or the store doesn’t carry them at all. Safeway is also filled with American inventory! This is such a turn off… being that we’re in CANADA!

It kills me that I am buying produce that could easily be from BC but instead it’s all seems to be from the states. I did see potatoes from Eastern Canada the other day… I’m all for Organic food. Love it, want to buy it BUT as local as possible is much more important to me in the long run. There doesn’t seem to be much option though here and I’m buying a lot of organic american food. Hmph.

Little piece of trivia for you, apparently there aren’t free range chickens north of Chilliwack (in southern BC) and regular factory eggs all come from Calgary, Alberta. I didn’t know that little factoid either until I checked every store in Prince Rupert. That’s over 1500 km (936 miles) that run-of-the-mill factory eggs come from! Believe it or not, it’s not a lot of a shorter distance to Chilliwack. There is something really wrong about this.

Anyway, on to my meal plan for the week. This week I’m making:


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10 Responses to $138

  1. Krista says:

    Scary food facts, and knowing how much you value and enjoy real, natural, fresh food, I am imagining what a total bummer the struggles you’re having are trying to find the things you need. I’m sure you’ll work out a weekly rhythm and scout out sources for all your necessities eventually, but it’s one of those things that takes awhile, huh?
    So does this mean you can’t find free range eggs anywhere in PR? Would you consider or be able to get a few chickens of your own?

  2. Annie says:

    Thanks Krista for hitting the nail on the head there. I do think I’ll be able to work it out but it does take a while to get totally comfortable in our sources and routines. I’ve been talking to a couple people about possible food coops and the like. We just have to make it work for us here.

    We can get free range organic eggs but they come from Calgary. Can you believe that?! I’ve thought about the possibilities of having chickens but I’m not totally sure about it. We’d need major fortification from predators like dogs, wolves, coyotes, eagles (!?)… That and would it be miserable here most of the time for the poor beasties? The year round weather isn’t so sunny, yk? I should talk to Lucy about this. She’s in Scotland at a relatively similar latitude… I haven’t really considered having chickens before moving here. At least not imagine having them in town.

  3. greenteacher says:

    I was totally going to mention getting a few chickens in the yard, but ’twas mentioned previously…I wonder if there would be a local farm that would be willing to house your chickens and take care of them if you bought the chicks, the feed and allowed them to have let’s say half the eggs produced?
    We’re trying to do the local thing here too. We haven’t bought any fruit from outside quebec since we started trying to eat locally a few months ago (though I admit I do buy O.J.). Much of our veggies are organic from local farms, but I totally get you on the local vs organic debate. I absolutely believe that in the long run buying local carrots or strawberries that are not organic is waaay more important. I was also going to mention the possibility of joining a Co-op but you beat me to the punch! We joined one a few years back and it has been awesome! We order from the Ontario Natural Food Coop, which is near Toronto, and they deliver all the way over here in Montreal, which is basically a 6 hour drive.
    Good luck to ya in this challenge. It will rewarding to have it all figured out!

  4. Annie says:

    Unfortunately Prince Rupert is on a small island with lots of muskeg and no farms. Hardly anyone has a garden here. Outside Prince Rupert, Terrace seems to be the closest place for farming etc. but it’s 1.5 hours away. I was wondering if I might be able to find some way (coop, or other?) to have food come from there once a week. I’m sure people must have chickens there! I know I’m not willing at this time to drive there and back once a week.

    Another thing about local food is that it may actually be organic but just not have the distinction because of money or length of time in business!

  5. greenteacher says:

    Just learned what muskeg is, thanks! :) And indeed, it is costly to be certified organic. I definitely believe that local food is comparable (even if not organic or naturally grown) because chances are that, in terms of fossil fuel use, they are better for the environment than organic carrots shipped 7000km from California.
    Anyway, I understand your frustration. I hope that at least some part of it gets solved soon!

  6. taimarie says:

    hey Annie- I’ve been away- nice to visit again and see you’ve settled in! I remember the shock we experienced when we moved north with food. But we’ve found the underground food systems are alive and well where we are (though I think there are more farms here than in PR…) We get our free range chicken locally, but it is hush hush since it it illegal for the farmers to sell (which is crazy and just plain wrong…) ditto with goat milk and local cheese. We have our own chickens and a regular egg surplus. and what with my BIL’s new job at the PR highschool- maybe I can bring you some when we come for visits!

  7. Sarah says:

    Hmm that does sounds frustrating, but at the same time it’s a fairly interesting and extremely worthwhile thing to be problem solving for!

    Is there anywhere you can mail order your additive free/Canadian supplies from? We have a company called Suma http://www.suma.coop . I know lots of people who club together and do bulk orders here. I’m quite lucky to live near a really cool co-op http://www.unicorn-grocery.co.uk. Really this is one of the few benefits of our inner city Manchester life. I would swap you it for the Safeway to be near the sea, Butze Rapids and eagles with a tree fort in the yard ;)

    I suppose having local food here in the UK is taken for granted with us being such a tiny island. Even if it comes from the other end of the country it’s still not that far away. That’s not to say people don’t buy stuff that’s flown in from all over the globe, but we do OK with home grown produce most of the time.

    Chooks would be great to solve the egg problem. Can appreciate your concerns though. From your description of the local wildlife the weather would be the least of any potential feathered friend’s worries!!

    Sarah x

  8. Annie says:

    That would be great Taimarie! Your area is filled with interesting people doing cool things. That’s not to say that there aren’t great people here but the culture is different and a little lacking- at least in thinking of my own values. We’ll make it work, even if that means working on my own coop ideas or… There may be others wanting the same things I am. I just have to figure out how to find them.

    I’m really going to look at what I can do for myself instead of just focus on what’s here already. Time will tell!

  9. sarah says:

    your family eats so well! i always get hungry visiting your blog!

  10. Hi Annie,
    you know there are so many blogs about food, but I keep reading! I like this idea of journalling it in relation to the amount spent!

    We have so many types of eggs here it is crazy – but I love our own the best – I can’t wait to get chooks again – we’ve been interstate for nearly 4 years renting.

    I love chooks, we used the ‘deep litter method’ (heaps of much for them to scratch for bugs in and no poop smell) and moved them over beds in a chook tractor.

    fun stuff.

    christmas I’m thinking…

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