Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I've decided to do a few posts on where I buy my food. It's what I've been thinking about the most since we moved to LA. I wanted to start with Costco because it's the bottom of my list for sustainable food sourcing. It still fills a niche for me that I'm not ready to give up though. I have scaled back a ton on the things I buy there and I don't go nearly as often, but I haven't found better options yet for some of the things that have become my staples.
The picture above was from my last trip in June. Yes, that's 6 lbs of organic butter. I haven't found a better price on that yet. Their cheeses are great. We always keep Parmesan Reggiano on hand and I've been using the fresh mozzarella on our pizzas tho I want to start making the mozzarella from scratch next month. Macadamia nuts are my guilty pleasure for snack time. The canned salmon is for salmon-style crab cakes but I don't love my recipe enough to post it yet. We use the frozen blueberries in smoothies and the frozen veggies in fried rice when I'm in a hurry. The real maple syrup was our main sweet-flavoring for a while but now we mostly use local honey. I read that unless you buy organic maple syrup, they use formaldehyde in the processing so I quit buying it for now. Kirkland Extra Virgin Olive Oil is so much cheaper than any other evoo I've found. I have read about issues with truth-in-labeling with olive oils so I know I'm risking quality by buying the cheap stuff but I'm okay with that for now.
Alright, this is the haul from today's trip. More olive oil, butter and mac nuts. Less butter this time because I have a 5-gal drum of coconut oil in my kitchen now. I finally got the Weston A Price Foundation's shopping guide and they have Grey Poupon listed under the 'best' category of condiments so that is totally back in our diet now! I really like the Dubliner cheddar Costco has. It is really satisfying with just toast and fruit for a lunch. The babybel cheeses are actually a treat for our upcoming Disney trips - I wanted something portable and substantial. The colby is just cheap and I like colby for quessadillas. We've been eating a lot of those lately. I would prefer to make my own (cheese) but I'm not that cool yet. And I don't love the raw cheeses I've tried so I'm still getting it for now. Apparently, the milk used to make commercial cheeses is really low quality, so I'd like to figure out how to make my own out of better quality ingredients - like I did for yogurt.
The fish is my effort to eat more seafood. They actually had a few wild caught seafood options there. I was impressed. I got the frozen mahi and salmon but they also had frozen sea bass and fresh salmon fillets (they may have been previously frozen, not sure). There's a place in Santa Monica that's local and fresh and supposed to be awesome but by all accounts, it's pretty spendy so I haven't tried them out yet. I did find out that if I wake up super early on Saturday mornings, I can go to the San Pedro pier and buy fish off the dock. I'm excited about that option because I'd be buying pretty much directly from the fishermen and getting the freshest fish and best deal in town. They close at 8am though so it hasn't happened yet...