co-op pic

If you noticed one of my previous posts about where I like to food shop, I felt that I needed to say why I like food shopping so much.  I like to go to any of my food shops because they seem like safe places to be in.

Food stores seem safe because the people who work there are nice and it’s fun to just take in the atmosphere.  Sometimes, I think the world is too crazy for the likes of me, and going to a food shop makes me feel like the world has not completely collapsed.  There’s still lots of food everywhere, and that makes me feel at ease; or at least less threatened in this dog eat dog world.

Why, do you ask, should I feel threatened, when there’s still so many things to do out in the world we live in?  Well, I guess just going through my day to day motions makes me feel ill and I need a break from this crazy world we live.  So I go to food shops to look at the plentiful amount of food this great nation of us has to give.  That sounds kind of corny, but really there seems to be a reason why people say the USA is such a giver, in terms of giving away food to other countries that need it.

Food in America is big business.  I took two years of culinary courses, and we learned all about how to set up a menu, specifications (which are the requirements to sell a certain food product), and the process by which food is bought and sold, among other things.  I think it’s fascinating that there are so many rules to go by just to eat, or sell food.

We all probably see the big food stores on the highway like Costco, Giant, Wegmans, or even Trader Joes.  But what about the little known farms, co-ops, or stores that also operate as mini restaurants?  I go to a lot of these in the Philadelphia suburbs and it seems that they are doing ok, some great!

But when I think of what an ideal food shopping experience would be like, I think of places like India, China, or even South America.  I was in Bolivia a couple years ago and I remember going to a market there outside where a lot of the food was from the tropics, like bananas and avocados.  And there were potatoes, spices, and other products local to the area.

So, I’ve been to China too, where I was in a village in Hunan province.  The food we had was stuff I had never seen before.  Well, we had rice and meat (like fish, duck, and pork), but the vegetables we awe-inspiring in that I had no idea what they were!

When I go to any of my small business food stores, I feel like I am partaking in a very real and vibrant part of American culture!  Going to these places makes me feel like I am a bohemian, even if I’m just going there to browse or buy something.  Maybe that’s why starting a food business is so very popular, but also so very hard to do.  Cheers to wherever you buy your food!