You can ask this question about any product in your life. Your food, transportation, housing, clothing and every gadget we use to get us through the everyday came from somewhere. But, do you know where.
Well, I can tell you, most things I own I honestly have no clue where they came from, I can tell you what store I purchased them from but not where they originated prior to that or in some cases what they are made of. In past summer months I liked going to farmers markets and picking up local produce here and there but I have never tired to eat a majority of local food. With that being said, I am trying to eat local food a majority of the time, and know where my food came from. This will be a hard task, and I will not be successful immediately but I am trying and I’m telling my self, that’s what counts. I recently signed up for the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. I talked about it in my last post.
I figured I would take this opportunity to tell you more about the Oklahoma Co-op. First off their website is www.oklahomafood.coop. The co-op is a place where Oklahoma producers can sell food and non-food products to other consumers. Most co-ops operate with members paying a one time fee and then they pick (each month in this case) what they want from different farms that are members of the co-op. The Oklahoma Co-op cost $51.75 and that money buys you one “share” in the co-op.
Each month you have from the first day of the month until the second Thursday to place your order. Then producers gather orders and on the third Thursday you pick up your food at your scheduled pick up site. There are tons of pickup site near the city and a good deal in out lying areas. I have a pick up location just right down the street from my house. To get the food to my location the producers fill their orders and drive them to Oklahoma City where they then are sorted and given to the delivery person to deliver. All the sorting is done by volunteers to keep the cost down. My delivery person is a co-op producer also.
I read in this article http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/05/can-small-local-businesses-compete-in-a-globalized-market-balle/ that the co-op has lowered the cost of distribution to 18 cents on the dollars which is well below the national average of 73 cents. The article was published on Monday, May 24, 2010.
The Oklahoma co-op web site states that they have over 2600+ products available each month. I will admit that since I am trying to order my food just once a month from the co-op that I am running out of freezer space fast and I am considering getting a deep freeze. As I stated previously this will be a tough adjustment for me but I am trying.
Last night I had my first meal cooked with Co-op food, I mean I have had their food before but this entire meal, minus the potatoes was prepared with all food that I had ordered from the Co-op. I had a NY Strip from G-J All Natural Beef, with asparagus and a salad from Country to Town Market with a tomato that I picked up from the farmer’s market. It was delicious.