Updated: Mar 3, 2022
Have you ever wanted to have a better assortment of delicious and healthy food? Do you want to have a more eco-conscious lifestyle? Are you wanting to feel great and be at your best? Today, at Montauk Avenue we are going to address these topics and explore all the various food options available within the urban environment.
Sourcing Real Food Within Your City
Sometimes real, authentic food can be hard to come by in an urban setting. Local grocery stores may have a limited selection and/or the cost of quality food may be astronomical for many people. For those of us who enjoy cooking and preparing flavorful, highly nutritious food, the supply simply does not meet the demand.
For this reason, many people are looking for alternatives. More and more, people are wanting to live a more holistic life. We want to get off medications, reduce grocery store dependence, and reconnect with nature. Many of us want to treat what ails us holistically. We want to utilize the plants that nature already provides. Natural botanical plants tend to be far more potent and beneficial to our health than man-made synthetics. Yet, most of us never hear about botanical plant benefits because it is not in the best financial interest of drug and food manufacturers.
What’s more, many of us want unaltered, non-GMO, and organic produce. That is, we want real food. Many of us simply don’t realize that there are other food options available besides what large-scale grocery chains provide. We just have to do a little of old-fashioned hunting and gathering.
Besides searching for alternatives online, you can inquire through your local restaurants. High-end restaurants often have the skinny on who has the best produce and meat products. This is because many fine-dining restaurants do not buy from grocery stores or large-scale food distributors, but instead, buy from nearby farmers and local artisanal craftspersons.
Local Community Gardens
If you are fortunate enough to have a shared community garden in your area, then you are in for a wonderful treat. Local community gardens are a great place to get highly nutritious and natural food.
Local community gardens may require a membership fee, a little bit of participation within the garden, and a limit on what can be taken out of the garden space. However, the rewards far outweigh the time and financial investment. The biggest benefit of all is that you get to reconnect with nature, which in itself, has huge health and wellness advantages.
If you don’t have a local community garden, consider starting one. You have the power to bring about change. Get in touch with your neighbors, local businesses, city officials, churches, and community leaders to bring about a veritable Eden within your own neighborhood.
Community Supported Agriculture
Some growers, farmers, and small-scale producers offer CSA food delivery in their area. They often provide things like eggs, fresh produce, herbs, dairy, and fresh meat products, delivered right to your door. There is a monthly or quarterly fee for this service. You can go online and look for CSAs in your areas. You will usually be asked to register through their website, and you may have the option to choose what comes in your delivery box.
Supporting your local farmer is both sustainable and smart. Investing in nearby farmers is a way to reinvest your hard-earned money within your local economy. Investing your money locally allows you to support those farmers and businesses that share your vision and values.
Supporting local farmers is also one of the wisest things we can do with our money. Larger corporations are in the process of consolidating food manufacturing. As this happens, the diversity of food products will diminish. Food availability will be limited to what is profitable for corporations to make. To prevent the corporate take-over of food, we as consumers, can“vote” with our money. When we support local farmers, we are choosing freedom of choice, in regard to food.
Additionally, having a regular farmer that you buy from, is a great way to ensure food security for yourself and your community. For instance, when large chain grocery stores have a limited supply or simply don’t carry the fresh foods you are looking for, your local farmer may have those items. Another benefit is that you get to have a closer connection with the food you consume. You can see how your food is grown and made. There are a wide variety of farmers and producers as well.
Available Items can include:
Wine, Beer, and Other Fermented Beverages Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs Exotic Produce – Farmers with greenhouses and high tunnels are able to produce tropical plants, year-round. Mushrooms – Yes, there are farmers that specialize only in mushrooms. Meat and Dairy – Lamb, Chicken, Pork, Beef, and Goat • Beekeepers and Natural Honey Artisanal Cheeses • Specialty Grains – Minimally Processed
Many farmers have an on-site “store” or farm stand. You simply drive to their farm and go into their small storehouse. The exchange of money is often honor- based. You take what you need and leave cash in a drop box. Some farmers even provide card readers for a convenient, swipe and go purchase. Be sure to look online to know their hours of operation and to check availability.
Co-ops are a great way to join forces with other businesses and producers. These small, family-owned businesses come together to share expenses and work together. They often share a space or building. The money they save by sharing
expenses is then passed on to you the consumer, by way of affordable food products.
Creating Your Own Source of Real Food
"Doing it yourself" is becoming more and more popular. Many people are realizing the need for fresh, organic, and lush produce. Simply put, our bodies need real food. Sure, highly processed “franken foods” may taste good, but they never make us feel good. It’s also best to realize, that once you get used to the taste of REAL food, the highly processed food from grocery stores and fast-food markets will not taste good at all. You will be able to taste the chemicals and artificial fillers that are added to many conventional food products.
Edible Yards Over Lawns
Did you know that regularly running a lawnmower pollutes the environment substantially? Your one little mower may not seem like a lot, but multiply that by millions of people doing this same activity, every week. Sure, many large-scale, multi-national corporations profit from nearly everyone keeping neatly trimmed sod in their yard. Let’s consider, there are the fertilizer companies, the herbicide companies, the machine companies, and the list goes on. Yet does it really benefit the individual? If we truly want to be sustainable, the conventional lawn has got to go!
Even if you have a small yard, you can grow an outstanding amount of food. If your local municipality allows you to have a garden on your front lawn, you can grow all sorts of food. To find out more about how to grow food in your front yard, I recommend studying the principles of permaculture.
Even if you live in an apartment, you can produce your own food. If you are fortunate enough to have a south-facing balcony, then you are in luck. During the warmer months of the year, you can have a potted edible food paradise right on your patio or balcony.
If you are in a building that allows access to the roof, you can put this shared space to great use. You and your neighbors can work together to create a community garden in the sky. Talk with your property management team to see what your options are.
If you have a south-facing window in your home, you would be surprised to know how much you can really grow. You can put plant shelves in front of your window
to optimize the available space and sunlight. Additionally, all the greenery will transform your home’s aesthetic appeal. You will quickly notice a more peaceful and tranquil vibe.
You can grow things like: