Let me tell you why I love Food Co-op's...
East Lansing Food Co-op (Elfco)
1. They support local organic farmers. You walk into a co-op and you may notice their modest supply of produce. Don't let this discourage you! Trust me, this "lack" of veggies and fruits is a blessing in disguise. Although you might not be able to enjoy your favorite Chinese grown melons or chemically enhanced apples, you can begin to embrace what your states local organic producers have to offer, while minimizing your carbon footprint and supporting the local economy
2. Their bulk food assortment. Co-ops are known for their extremely well stocked walls of bulk items such as rice, quinoa, wheat berries, nut butters and so much more, plus they provide you with no containers. Meaning? (Gasp!) You-Bring-Your-Own!
3. They are affordable! Co-ops are a great alternative to grocers such as Whole (Paycheck) Foods or Trader Joe's because they do not spend as much money advertising, packaging, or shipping products all over the country.
4. Their no waste policy. You will find no plastic bags in Co-ops, you are expected to bring your own reusable bag and containers for your groceries, produce, and bulk items. Not only is this sustainable but it also helps bring down the cost of your groceries.
Pictured above is what I brought home in my reusable bag, Grand Rapids made salsa, Elfco cashew butter, organic East Lansing farmed eggs, and some organic USA grown bananas and strawberries (there were three bananas but I got hungry :) ). Not pictured was some fair trade coffee brought home in my own tin can. Best part? It was under 10 dollars! Steal.