Stepping Up Your Staples: Why Quality Counts



Basic kitchen staples play a role in our lives on a daily basis. Whether you’re cooking morning eggs or going all out gourmet for a multi-course meal, the same basics continue to act as the foundation of everything you eat. And yet, when food shopping, it’s easy to convince ourselves that the basics are the easiest places to cut corners. Next time you go shopping for eggs, milk, bread, butter, yogurt, honey, stock, or olive oil, keep a few of these reasons in mind for why your staples are actually the best place to start when investing in high-quality ingredients

You can taste the freshness:

The flavor difference is everything. Take eggs, for example. Side by side, a factory-produced egg compared to a farm-fresh, pasture-raised egg is like night and day. The vibrantly warm orange-hued yolk in a pasture-raised chicken egg is your first quality indicator. Just as with buying red meat; the richer the color, the fresher the product.

And then there’s the taste. Pasture-raised farm eggs consistently offer a creamier texture and more robust flavor. Whether you’re serving them scrambled with toast or baking a cake, choosing the right egg can take your meal from flat to gourmet with no added effort. And because of the increase in flavor richness…

You don’t have to use as much:

As a result of freshness, butter, honey, and olive oil contain such highly concentrated flavor that you’ll find yourself using only a portion of what you would when using a comparable mass-produced product. Not only does that mean you can reduce your consumption of calories and fats, but you also get more bang for your buck

You know what you’re eating:

With factory-raised animals being given growth hormones, genetically modified soy-heavy diets, antibiotics, and pain killers, you’re ingesting everything they are along the way with no real way of tracking it. Their diet is your diet.

Buying basics from small, local farmers increases your ability to hold your food producers accountable for the what their animals eat, and, by proxy, what you eat. Practicing an animal-free diet? It’s still important to keep an eye out for ingredients in your basics. Many of the household name brand breads, for example, include such surprises as high fructose corn syrup, GMO soy lecithin, and caramel coloring. In your bread.

Instead, stick to a local bakery. Your bread may not last as long but, as the adage goes, don’t worry when your food goes bad, worry when it doesn’t.

Your money is going to a person in your community, not to a multi-national corporation.

One of our favorite things about participating in our local food community is spending time with the hard working farmers who dedicate their lives to growing the food we eat. There’s something almost magical about knowing the exact place your food comes from, the exact person who raised it, and the exact process by which it was created. Plus, buying from within your own community helps build a longer-lasting, stronger local food system, an initiative we can all get behind.

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