Thursday, October 23, 2008

What I Bought at the Truckload Sale

I finally stopped by the Bloomingfoods Truckload Sale, which has been extended through the weekend in recognition of Co-op Month. First I helped front and face boxes and case stacks, and tried my hand at a box knife for the first time in years. Then I shopped.

Wow, such great bargains. I like to keep a pretty well-stocked larder, so this was my chance. Let's see if I can remember what I bought:

• There was a great assortment of BioNaturae pasta from Italy, and I love those, so I got a case of spaghetti. I may need to go back for spirals and bows. These are organic pastas mixed with natural spring water and pressed with antique bronze dies. Their packaging looks like it was created by kids in a Waldorf School, with lots of soft colored pencils. This pasta does have a great texture, and it originates from small organic farms in Tuscany: those have to be a good thing, right? There were other very low priced pastas at the sale, but I went with BioNat.

• We go through a lot of pasta sauce, so I got a case of organic Marinara Sauce.

Tree of Life organic ketchup and mustard: just when we'd run out! I timed this pretty well with last spring's sale.

CitraSuds laundry detergent: maybe enough to last through the end of the year. And a case of 7th Generation toilet paper. I still remember the first time I used CitraSolv: we had moved to Bloomingfon into a tiny filthy house, new baby in tow. I was so grateful to be able to clean it with something non-toxic that smelled wonderful and seemed to instantly dissolve the grime. And now years later, I kind of like those icons on the CitraSolv home page.

• Enough Nature's Gate herbal shampoo and conditioner to last at least until spring. I still haven't found a sodium laureth sulfite-free shampoo that I like. This one is not SLS-free, and like most shampoos, there are a lot of laureths and sodiums in the ingredient list, alongside those herbes aromatiques. I really like the Nature's Gate herbal conditioner – the smell makes me swoon. (But later: I think they have changed the formula and added the dreaded unspecified "fragrance": damn!)

• A whole case of Emergen-C, our family secret to staying healthy in the winter.

Ciao Bella sorbet: blood orange! And Ciao Bella pistachio. We rarely purchase frozen treats since getting an ice cream maker, but these are so delicious. They have nice packaging and a pretty cool website, too.

• Enough 100% recycled aluminum foil to last until spring, the kind with that funny name: If You Care. (Great product, lame website.)

• Lots of Organic Valley cheese in assorted flavors, and some OV cultured butter. I'm an Organic Valley fan, especially after touring the butter factory in southwest Wisconsin and watching the butter squeeze out of the stainless steel tubing into its little wrappers and packages. Come to think of it, I'll have to write about that experience some time. Organic Valley is a producer co-op: it's worth a visit to go to their site, their headquarters in LaFarge, Wisconsin, and to their butter factories!

Traderspoint plain yogurt in a glass bottle. This yogurt won a national award for being the best in the country, and it's from Indiana, so I feel a twinge of regional pride. It is so delicious, and the glass packaging is beautiful, too. I intend to use this as a starter to finally try to get into the habit of making my own yogurt.

Fischer Farms (local, natural) beef patties. And some natural ham rashers like the kind I used to eat in Ireland.

Ling Ling vegetarian potstickers, TOL frozen organic blueberries, and organic frozen corn.

• 25# bag of Lundberg short grain brown rice, to make rice and cheese, a family favorite. Risotto made simple: cook rice, grate cheddar cheese on top, mix and eat!

• 25# bag of unbleached organic white all-purpose flour. Again, I just ran out.

• 4 big bags of seed starter organic soil enhancer: such a good deal I couldn't pass them up.

• Organic raisins, fig bars, apple cider vinegar, and other assorted tempting treats.

• Big bags of organic onions ($2), 2 butternut squash, a 5# bag of organic potatoes, and bags of organic Honeycrisp and Ambrosia apples.

If you don't have a food co-op in your community, you might just want to run right out and start one. (Visit Food Co-op 500 for How-To information.) I'm very proud of the fact that we assemble such good bargains at Bloomingfoods. Here's a nice article from my favorite trade journal, Cooperative Grocer, about our truckload sales. There's a lot of good information in that magazine, by the way, about the current state of the world and the future of food.

I passed on the chips, beverages, cider, cereal, and many other fantastic offerings...but I'll be going back tomorrow to pick up a gorgeous local pumpkin for only $3!

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