I'm not a big soda drinker. Orange soda (Orange Crush during football season) and root beer with pizza are my jam. So when I discovered a local soda maker, I was super excited for some odd reason. We set up a meeting to talk about the products, test some flavors, and determine if they were a good product match for the store. The sales rep started giving me samples and I was amazed how good it was. Me! Not a big soda fan... thinking this stuff was great. I brought an open bottle home to my kids, sat it on the counter for hours, and then offered them a taste (best mom award right here). They loved it. They tell their friends about it. A few days ago, I picked some up to take some pictures with it. My husband had some (it was just sitting on the counter saying "Drink me!") and said, "That tastes real." Nailed it! That's exactly right. What I'm finding over and over again is that all this local food we're testing tastes real because it is. There isn't gook in it, just real food. It tastes better and is better for you.
Another mind blowing product we found are snack sticks from Old School Snacks. Kids came home after school and tried them - loved them. I've shared them with people who say they will work in the store if I pay them in snack sticks! They are so good. And, wait for it, REAL. There's no sawdust or pink slime or yellow dye or anything else.
Why buy local food? My reason is because it's real. There are people out there who own mills that actually grind grain and then hand pack it in bags for you. There is a mill in central PA, Susquehanna Mills, that makes canola and sunflower oil. Here, in PA?! Yup. Have you ever looked at the back of your lotion bottle? What is that stuff? A friend of mine makes scrubs and brought me some to try. I shared it with others and they are amazed what sugar and coconut oil can do. As I continue reading labels, comparing products, tasting items, and learning about food production, it is amazing the difference in buying local food. We are so fortunate in PA to have so many different kinds of food in which to stock our pantries and make our meals with.
No matter where you are, look for local food. Discover what can be produced in your area. You'll see how amazing it it.