Small town veggies - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-31-2007, 07:23 PM
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Does anyone live in a town with no natural stores? If so, where do you live? And where the heck do you get your stuff? Online? I'm wondering...
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#2 Old 01-31-2007, 07:28 PM
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We have one small health food store that I've been to once. I can get fresh vegetables at farmer's markets and one of our grocery chains has a pretty good organic section. I don't buy a lot of specialty foods, though. I can get by pretty well on regular grocery store products.



I don't grocery shop at all at school. I brought a few cans of fruit and some snack food from home, and I survive on those between school meals. While my diet is not the best, I definitely don't feel like I'm missing out on something major by not having a natural food store.
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#3 Old 01-31-2007, 07:46 PM
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Yeah, here we have Safeway Organics. It's a lifesaver they have a kick butt whole wheat pasta



...but do you ever have trouble finding cruelty free products like shampoo?
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#4 Old 01-31-2007, 07:57 PM
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Oh, good point. I didn't think about non-food items. My mother, unfortunately, buys hygiene products in bulk when they're on sale, so I probably won't run out for at least a year (I didn't do my own shopping when I lived at home, and I haven't started buying cruelty-free until recently). I know there are cruelty-free shampoos and conditioners somewhere locally, because we've had them before. I think those actually came from a dollar store.



Actually, I think that little health food store I mentioned is more like a convenience store. I know they sell hair dye, so they probably have other hygiene products. I'll let someone else answer your question, because I guess I'm in the same boat.
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#5 Old 01-31-2007, 08:09 PM
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I'm in rural IL and the nearest natural store/Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/etc is about 1.5 hours from me. The nearest real grocery store of any kind is 40 minutes.



In the summer I can get a great selection of local produce from farmers markets. Other than that, I go into "civilization" about once a month to grocery shop. I can get canned goods/basic staples locally if in a pinch, but no chance for anything organic, specialty, or marketed towards veg*ns.



It's an inconvenience but workable. The only thing that really ticks me off is trying to go out to eat here. It's nearly impossible.
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#6 Old 01-31-2007, 08:33 PM
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i understand exactly what you're saying, but it strikes me funny that you can't get wholesome products in a rural area these days. what a reversal.
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#7 Old 01-31-2007, 08:38 PM
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I live in a small town in manitoba. Most of my food i get at the co-op grocery store. They have a small section of tofu and other vegetarian foods and a very good selection of fresh veggies. The nearest health food store is half an hour away from me. When i go to that town i go to the superstore which is vegetarian heaven for me.
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#8 Old 01-31-2007, 09:44 PM
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I've been living in a small town in S. Korea for the past four years -- no health food stores, no convenience foods with labels I could understand, etc. As far as groceries, I've primarily lived off fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, tofu, and homemade bread. Spices, dried fruit, and dried beans I get usually buy online, as int'l shipping often proves cheaper than buying the same products on the local economy. Same goes for toiletries and household products.



In the States, I lived within reasonable distance (half an hour) of a couple of nice health food stores, but I'm finding that I can buy so much more cheaply online that I'll probably continue buying many non-perishables that way even after we move back to the States. I'm just hoping that we settle near a good farmer's market!
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#9 Old 02-01-2007, 08:27 AM
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Good point V Frank!



I live in SF where there's a organic veggie store in every neighborhood, and then one day I got stuck buying shampoo in a grocery store. And it took forever to read all those labels. And with Toms of Maine selling out...I just marvelled at how small town veggies handled it.
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#10 Old 02-01-2007, 09:44 AM
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Another small town veggie, here.



Locally, my choices suck. I can get minimal fruits, veggies, beans and rice and 1-2 kinds of soymilk (IF I'm lucky). If I'm willing to drive 30 minutes, I can get a few vegan products and a larger selection of realfoods. If I'm willing to drive much further than that, I can shop at my HFS but for obvious reasons, I only shop at my HFS about once or twice a year.



For household supplies (shampoo, dish soap, etc), I get whatever I can that's available to me and on sale.





Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperChicken View Post

The only thing that really ticks me off is trying to go out to eat here. It's nearly impossible.

It's the same exact situation here, too. The LOs and the Pescis can eat like a king here but anyone else - goooood luck finding something suitable.
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#11 Old 02-01-2007, 11:27 AM
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Where are you living?



I am in the UK and I live in an average town I suppose. You can buy shampoos [etc] not tested on animals [etc] in most supermarkets, I think it's really about knowing what brands are acceptable by your own ethics. Try looking at whatever stores near you [that sell own brand] say on the matter, or what you use at the moment, see where things stand with that and other brands you are famliar with online, and finding one you are comfortable with using.



Alternitivly you could buy in bulk when you travel to a nearby city, or you could order online. or *even better* you could see what you can buy locally from farms etc, you would be supprised - it's the easiest way to be secure in the knoledge your food comes from the best possible source, and you're helping out local farmers!



Good luck.
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#12 Old 02-01-2007, 11:38 AM
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I now live in a large city, but I just moved here 6 months ago. For 2 years I lived in a town of less than 3K in rural Illinois. The local grocery store was pretty much worthless, so twice a month I would drive 20 miles to a town of about 20K where there was a Kroger. They had a fairly decent "natural foods" selection, so I could get most stuff I wanted there. I would occasionally order specialty things like gelatin-free marshmallows on-line. The summer was great because my husband was a pastor and the parishioners gave us tons and tons of fresh produce I kind of miss that, because now I actually have to pay for my produce. But I can't say I really miss small-town life.
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#13 Old 02-01-2007, 11:50 AM
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I don't find the selection in my town (about 10K) that bad. My local grocery (chain store) has organic and vegetarian products, and some Kiss My Face cosmetics. There's a nice co-op style health food store in the nearest larger town (30K or so, only 10-15 miles away), where there's a slightly larger selection. If I get really desperate, I can get to Pittsburgh in an hour (if the traffic is good) and there's a very nice co-op and a Whole Foods there. There are also ethnic groceries in the city which are good places to get odd ingredients. I think I heard that Trader Joe's is going to put a store somewhere in the Pittsburgh area, too. But, I haven't had to go to the city to grocery shop yet, though that option is there if I need it.
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#14 Old 02-01-2007, 04:54 PM
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I do my grocery shopping at Kroger. It is the largest grocery store in the area, and they have a nice natural foods cubby. They sell Yves, Amy's, Lightlife, Fantastic soup mixes, Silk, and of course the "big three" of Boca, Morningstar, and Gardenburger. And of course, they have a produce section, as well as plenty of canned and frozen veggies. That's all we need, really, so I can't complain.



Household/cosmetic products are trickier. These products are not consistently stocked and are often extremely overpriced. (Think $6-7 for a bottle of spray-on cleaner.) So with household/personal products I usually choose the generic or off-brands. (Surprisingly, many generic products have "no animal testing" labels.) With makeup and deodorant, I order the catalog products, like Avon and Mary Kay.



I enjoy eating out at restaurants. This is probably because my mom thought cooking was too much hassle, and I got used to eating out. We don't have any vegetarian restaurants, obviously. I go to places like Subway, Taco Bell and Panera Bread, as well as local restaurants which offer something I can eat. I always find it amusing when big-city veg*ns complain that there were only one or two meals on the menu they could eat. I am thrilled to see a veggie wrap, hummus and pita, or steamed vegetable plate on a menu.



We don't have any natural foods stores. I've never been to a Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Every so often, somebody gets the big idea to open a little privately-owned "natural foods" store around here, and it is always poorly managed and terribly advertised, and it fails. This has happened about five or six times in my memory.

slops, gloops, and gruels.
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#15 Old 02-02-2007, 10:44 AM
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Small town veggies unite! It's such a drag. Maybe one day DH and I can move to a real town!!



A few things I love that I get online:



www.justtomatoes.com - I get dried tomatoes, fruits and veggies from them. They are really good and healthy. I used the dried tomatoes instead of chips. Yummy.



www.southavenfarm.com - I get my whole grain baking mixes from them. They are wonderful. You can even make the breads, muffins, pancakes, etc. vegan if you want. Very versatile and all real ingredients.



www.netrition.com - Eat Well Be Well cereals and cereal bars. Takes a while to get used to the taste but now I like them.



www.cappuccinoconnection.com - Davinci flavored syrups.
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#16 Old 02-02-2007, 03:38 PM
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I live in a suburb of a moderately large city. The nearest helath food stores are across town, but all major grocery stores have an isle of veg*n foods.
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#17 Old 02-02-2007, 06:20 PM
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I'm not a city-person, but I'm so jealous every time I hear about some of you guys picking up a "vegan pizza" or going out to a vegetarian restaurant. I would LOVE to have a place to eat out like that. Even just one place would be like a dream.



My only choices are the veggie sub at Subway or a steamed vegetable platter at the local Chinese restaurant. Even our Italian restaurant has meat in every single dish, including their marinara sauce. Midwesterners love their meat...
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