Recently, the only co-op in the Phoenix area, Gentle Strength, and a leader in locally grown, organic produce, went out of business.
Bottom line... not enough shoppers.
Sure there were probably a few other reasons, but the main one was lack of business.
It's funny, though, everyone I talk to in the area is disappointed and saddened by the closing (as I was). However, I believe there was too much talk and not enough action.
If we want to have better, fresher, organic and locally grown choices, we have to support those organizations. Support them with our shopping dollars and with our help in letting others know about the organizations.
Personally, I'll miss the co-op and the friends I've made there. They were the -only- central place to get fresh, locally grown greens and other produce. All the produce sold was organic and as much as possible was sourced locally. The only choices now are the national chains including Whole Foods and Wild Oats (now owned by Whole Foods), a few smaller chains and some traditional grocery chains that now carry some organic produce. I'm happy that they're all carrying more organic foods, although little, if any, is locally grown. Whole Foods advertises 'local' although a quick walk through shows just a few locally grown out of over 200 produce items.
Alternative sources include farmers markets and visiting farms directly. I've found a few farms and frequent farmers markets on weekends and can find some of the same items. Although not as convenient, it's a solution for now.
Find the local co-ops in your area and support them. It's a fact, traditional companies will continue to market non-organic products and source all over the world unless we 'vote' with our dollars. Using as much locally grown organic produce not only supports your community and the environment, the food is also more nutritious and benefits your health.
We can make a difference.. just do it!
To your best health!
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