Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Locavore's Arise!

Locavore: Those who prefer to buy from local food providers.

I had a refreshing experience the other day. I walked across the street to check out the former Loso's Grocery Store as it begins its “Extreme Makeover.” For over 100 years this store provided food and miscellaneous household and school items for St. Joseph residents and area students. With easy access from the main street, it saved taking car trips to other sites to obtain last minute and basic meal/party preparation items.

Loso's Store has now morphed into a new co-op called Minnesota Street Market. It supports the local food market movement. Since it is member-owned and member-governed, it operates to benefit members based on principles agreed on by the community members. Anyone can be a lifetime member for $100. And it welcomes members and non-members to explore its healthy food choices. Because it is a smaller store, it can buy smaller quantities of produce from smaller producers. It already displays local organic fresh fruits and vegetables, provides a great selection of choice organic herbs and wonderful organic meats from free range chickens to buffalo steaks. It has milk and eggs, mushroos and even honey from nearby producers.

With a significant number of small farmers in the area, the local College of Saint Benedict focusing on sustainability and Benedictine monastic women that prefer being locavores, there is great enthusiasm for this venture. As an addition to the St. Joseph Farmer's Market and our own CSA, Common Ground Garden, there is a true movement toward eating local, fresh food in the area.

May this new venture flourish and provide the residents of the city of St. Joseph area, students and local visitors with healthy, environment-friendly and consumer-protected nourishing foods in the upcoming 100 years. It’s a marvelously encouraging business development and another sign of what can be done if local people and committed volunteers gather together and support what they believe in.

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