The picture above is of the onions I just bought from my vegetable and dairy supplier, Providence Farms. They are a CSA located in Trenton, MO and they make deliveries to the north Kansas City area on Tuesdays during the winter months. They also have a booth at the Liberty Farmers Market during the season. If you have ever bought green onions/scallions from the grocery store, compare them to a carton of eggs. They’re maybe about as long, but definitely not longer. And then look at how big around those things are! One stalk is about the circumference of my middle finger, if you can imagine. The eggs next to them were also from the same farm, as was the butter. Oh, and the butter….
There are so many advantages to buying fresh and naturally grown/produced foods. Flavor, freshness, quality and knowing the source of your food. Back to the butter…The butter is in a 1 lb tub and costs about $7. Yes, I know that’s probably at least 2-3 times what you would pay for butter at a grocer. But have you ever tasted or cooked with this stuff? As a big dairy and animal product fan, I can honestly say that nothing compares to hand made fresh butter from the farm. Brush it on your sweet potatoes before you broil them, put a little in the pan before you sautee your bacon or fish, or add it to a glaze on your veggies. Creamy would be an understatement.
One of the main reasons why I buy the majority of our foods fresh and from local farmers is the quality control. They are almost always willing to let you come look at their place, how things are grown and how clean their operation is. They also don’t add a bunch of junk to the growing process. Limited natural herb- and pesticides are used, if any at all. You can look at the produce and see how much it hasn’t been tampered with by the marks and grooves in it. No, it doesn’t look like something out of a gourmet magazine or like the perfectly selected, shiny and color enhanced things you see at your supermarket, but you’re getting ready to chop it up and put it in your food, not photograph it in a bowl on the table, right?
And number two, it just plain tastes better! The flavor of the vegetables you will get from Providence Farms and other local farmers is NOTICEABLY more concentrated and rich than something you buy from the grocery store. Its almost like you can taste the soil nutrients and sunshine, weird, I know. Try going down to the Liberty Farmers market while its in season, or take a trip to the Kansas City River Market. You will be overwhelmed with the variety and selection of fresh produce, most of which is grown locally without harmful pesticides and herbicides and also costs far less than what you will pay from your typical supermarket chain. Yes, you are getting fruit and vegetables that need to be eaten within the next 5-7 days, they are not going to last weeks in your fruit bowl or refrigerator.
But, I ask you, is it normal for produce to last that long? No, its actually not. In nature, things begin to ripen, then rot as soon as they’re picked or plucked from their plant, roots or other nutrient and water support system. Something that stays good for weeks in your kitchen or refrigerator is likely the result of genetic modification to enhance shelf-life and probably best left alone. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t ever eat it. Sure, we all get in a bind and run out of something if we haven’t planned ahead for dinner for the week. No biggie. But over-use of these items has raised some very pointed questions from scientists about the reactions we have to GMO and how they are handled in our bodies, most importantly, our digestive system. I would say the main concern is from the ability of the genes, which are specifically engineered to cross species barriers and implant into DNA of other species, to potentially invade host cells in our bodies after we eat the GMO foods. If you ever want to be scared to ever touch food at the store, Google the terms ‘Monsanto’ and ‘GMO’ and spend the next few days reading about where most of your grocery store produce really comes from.
But enough about GMO and scary corporations for now, we can come back to that later. My main purpose with this post was to pass along resources to you, my Paleo loving members and readers about where in the Kansas City area you can find or purchase Paleo and Paleo-friendly foods, including meats, fruits, and vegetables. Below is a list of places that I have personally used or still do use and would have no problem recommending to you:
Heavenly oils and vinegars (only olive oil, no other types)
Pisciotta Farms Can be found at the River Market on weekends (their beef is grass fed, but grain finished, so not 100% Paleo, but if you’re not that picky, its not a huge concession to make)
Providence Farms (packages of 2 lbs of ground beef) Makes deliveries to KC area, north of the river; grass fed
Bryant Family Farm (contact them about this beforehand, as they do not always carry all cuts), located in Easton, just outside of Leavenworth in Kansas; grass fed
KC Buffalo Company You can buy their ground meat, summer sausage and breakfast sausage at area Price Chopper and Hy-Vee stores, but not all of them carry it. For their full line of available products, pretty much any cut you want in beef, you can get in buffalo, plus more, visit them at the River Market on Saturday mornings.
Pisciotta farms (their pork is pasture-raised, grain supplemented for texture)
Pisciotta farms (their chickens are free range, and very tasty; you can get whole, or cut up) Also has eggs.
Bryant Family farm (chickens come whole, you cut them up; one of the best chickens I’ve cooked!) Chickens are available, and you can get enormous turkeys at Thanksgiving! Also has eggs.
Providence Farms Eggs and retired laying hens that you can use as soup chickens–they don’t make for good fryers
**write me or call me about raw milk, because there was recently a farm bill passed where the government decided that they are going to tell us what is best for us and ban the sale, trade or bartering of any raw dairy. Thanks big dairy conglomerates, ’cause I still refuse to buy grocery store dairy.
Bryant Family farm chevré, feta and butter (some of the best feta I’ve ever had!)
Providence farms homemade butter!!
Kansas City River Market and Liberty Farmers market, various vendors (depending on what you’re looking for, you can pretty much find it all, from rare to common)
***I would recommend the River Market over the Liberty Farmers market vendors when it comes to vegetables because the price is so much lower. The vendors in Liberty scoot their prices up a little and many people have commented that they are the same or even higher than what you’d pay at the grocery store