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Do You Shop in Multiple Groceries Every Week? 5 Simple Steps That Could Help.

Nearly every week, I visit several grocery stores just to buy the staples that I need.  If you have multiple food allergies and intolerances, finding the most basic products in one place is nearly impossible.  If you live in a mixed-allergy/non-allergy household, whew, you are probably too tired to actually make dinner!  As I listen to the Tender Foodie Community, it's clear that most of you experience the same huffing and puffing and trucking around town.  You might have to drive across state lines.  Perhaps you also order from multiple internet stores. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just go to one or two stores to get what we need?  Here's the kicker:   The individual nature of mutlipe food allergies (along with your personal tastes) make it tough for grocery stores and brands to know what you need. Unless, of course, you tell them.  If we tell them en masse as a Tender Foodie Community, your request has more influence.

To help get your needs to your local grocers (and to the brands that they sell), I've put together a form.  Here's how it works:

1.  Sign up to become an email member in order to access this form.  Its free and we only send out updates once or twice a month.  Becoming a member will help us reduce the amount of spammers hitting our form.

2.  Log in to access the form whenever you find your head about to explode because you can't find X product, or you wished that you could find, for example, a cocoa powder that is non-GMO, non-alkaline, and produced in a factory that does not also process other allergens. 

3.  Twice a month, I'll send your request along with others in your community to your local grocer.  Where appropriate, I'll also send the request to whatever brands you list. 

4.  The more requests for a particular product that a grocer receives and the more requests the brand receives for better allergen processing, the more likely our community will benefit.  So ...

5.  Send this blog post to every Tender Foodie that you know. 

As a community, we are used to taking our knocks, doing our homework, and being silent.  If we have a way to act as a community, who knows, vendors might be swayed to work with allergen-free suppliers, test for multiple allergens, or make their facilities free of multiple allergens.   It could happen (here is one example).  Plus, you might reduce the number of trips you make, the amount of gas you burn and the amount of postage you drop.  Though we can't guarantee any vendor's actions, we think this could be super powerful.

Your input could help greatly expand the "safe" choices out there for Tender Foodies.


Does this Happen to You?

For example, I tend to visit the Meijer store near me for "some" organic vegetables, especially greens like kale and swiss chard.  They sometimes have the dairy-free chocolate chips that I use and sometimes have one of the many gluten-free flours that I use.  I go to one Harvest Health in Hudsonville to get the only truly dairy-free plain yogurt, that isn't processed in a factory that also produces other things I can't eat, even though their location on Burton Street is more "on my way" and both carry many allergen-free staples that I use.  I just gave a jingle to Saffrons, a Gluten-free Marketplace to see if they carried whole grain millet that isnt processed in a cross-contaminated factory, they didn't, but they were happy to get in a case for me.  Saffron's really does their multiple allergy homework.  They review products regularly, and label them for multiple allergens so it saves you shopping (and homework) time.  Although Saffron's is not conveniently located to me, I will drive there to get it and whatever else I can find, since they have great stuff.  For grassfed meats, I just made my first visit to Nourish Organic Market.  Nourish carries local and grassfed meat from local farms and butchers and other great products.  Plus, they are next to my yoga studio (From the Heart).  To try to add some measure of convenience, I now order local and organically raised vegetables from Doorganics - who delivers right to my door every Wednesday afternoon.  They are another new business that, although you can't yet order what you want in your weekly box (she says hopefully), they are helping me to expand my palate and try stuff I don't usually get (like turnips, which I now love).  Plus, their produce is straight from the farm keeping their fruits and veggies packed with the most nutrients.  I've also gone to Horrock's Market to get the Nature Made Frozen Fruit that I use in my smoothies.  For my favorite chocolate of all (Callebaut), and for organic wine I make an occasional trip to G.B Russo's and Son. They have great, higher end, specialty cooking supplies, too.  I used to visit the D&W Fresh Market near me because they were expanding their organic produce and allergen-free items.  However, it is now a Family Fare and they discontinued some of the items that I counted upon.  Several compoundingly disappointing trips later, I stopped trying.  I bet if they knew that, and other people spoke up, they would rethink what they are putting on and taking off the shelves.  Did I mention Trillium Haven Farms at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market in the summer?  Or trucking through Costco for items that might or might not be there from week to week?  Then there are the online stores, the internet searching, the cross-contamination research...

OK.  Now I'm exhausted. 


  (Send me an E-Jingle with your comments on the form, would you?)

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