Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Locali vs. locally

All I think about is food and I really want to live a more conscientious, healthier existence. I read about this stuff, I try to cook more artisanally (I'm eventually going to break the bank and buy a mill to grind my own wheat). Towards these ends I was thrilled with the idea of shopping at locali. It's close! It's convenient! It's local! My first impression on walking in there is that it's like Nature Mart but with alcohol and no bulk bin. + Alcohol is good. - Bulk bin is bad. I love the Nature Mart bulk bin. It actually saves me money on higher quality ingredients and snacks. Actually, I like Nature Mart a lot in general, even though the biggest part of their business (and I would guess their margin maker) is in the abhorrent realm of dietary supplements. Even though I spend too much money on basics there, everything is well marked and I can't say I am ever surprised by what I spend. I expect to spend a little more and I am unwilling to make the drive to the Santa Monica Co-Op on even a semi-regular basis, so Nature Mart serves its purpose.

So what am I writing about again? Oh, yeah, locali. I don't like this place much because it doesn't much live up to the ideals that I expected from it. The beers are local. I assume the baked goods and tamales are made locally. But where are these bakers sourcing ingredients from? Why does yogurt cost so much? Why do tamales cost so much? I feel like I'm being ripped off and I'm not even supporting local farms the way I intended to. I'm buying macaroons from New York? Water from Arkansas? What gives, locali?

So the comparison I come back to is Nature Mart (no expectations of locally sourced produce, etc.) versus locali (obvious expectations of local products) and Nature Mart wins hands down. Against all odds it's actually cheaper and the products are much the same. I can just walk to Ralph's if I want to support a local business that gets food from all over the planet. I've lost my train of thought but I'm going to put something on twitter now. Yeah, twitter. Yikes I hate me so much. I haven't even written about quitting my job yet.