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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Alone time and the exorbitant cost of organic chicken

Dylan has guitar class on Sunday mornings now. I love this for a few reasons. I love that she is learning how to play an instrument. I love that she earnestly wants to be a rock star. I love the place we go (The Old Town School of Folk Music - a Chicago institution that makes me want to take up the fiddle and go on tour). And today, I love that I got to drop her off and take some time to myself to sit at Starbucks and blog. I am not sitting in a house that needs to be cleaned. I'm not listening to kids fight. The extent of my multitasking is typing with one hand while I sip a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

It's only 11:30 am, but I have already been stupidly productive today. I left the house at about 7:30 to go food shopping, and was home by 9:30, having hit both the supermarket AND Trader Joe's. Of course, as soon as I got home, I realized that I forgot the mozzarella cheese, but I got everything else, including organic chicken.

Can we talk about organic chicken for a minute? For the record, let me state that I have ZERO PROBLEM paying upwards of $30 for a whole chicken. But, I will only do so directly from the farmer. You want to charge me that much money for a chicken? You have to look me in the eye to do so, my friend. So, imagine my dismay when I saw a $32 organic chicken at Jewel (our local supermarket - it's a Safeway store). Seriously? $32 for a chicken at a supermarket? Not happening, and I am just too skeeved out by chicken farming practices to buy non-organic, so I end up traipsing all over town to find my meat (that sounds dirty, but totally not intended that way).

Last week we went to Costco. I got TWO organic chickens there for $20. One was cooked that night, one is safely in my freezer for a chicken emergency. Today, I ended up at Trader Joe's. For the price of one whole chicken at Jewel, I got two packs of drumsticks, one huge pack of boneless chicken breasts, and a whole cut up chicken. I just can't understand the price discrepancies, though.

It's not just meat, either. Last week I bought an organic cauliflower at Jewel. The cost? $7. I feel like for that price it should come coated in gold leaf. Or crack, maybe.

Later today, I'm going to place an order for some meat and produce from my old friend Fresh Picks. I just can't take the strain anymore of trying to buy this stuff at a regular store. It's not do-able, and when my weekend gets away from me, and I can't make it to the indoor farmer's market, I don't want to be stuck driving all over trying to find a decent deal. At least the money I spend with Fresh Picks is going to real live farmers, and not to "the man."

Are prices where you guys live that bizarre??

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