Food shoppers look local to save cash

June 19, 2008 4:06:37 PM PDT
More and more - consumers are experiencing sticker shock in the grocery aisle. The cost of food is soaring. And the floods that are choking crops in the Midwest are expected to push the cost even higher.

However, when it comes to produce, there are options other than your neighborhood supermarket. And they may save you money.

Faced with spiraling fuel costs local growers aren't exactly offering cheap fruits and vegetables. Customers however seem more concerned with quality and freshness especially in the wake of the tomato salmonella scare.

"They realize they have to spend, and they want to get the best value and nutrition and freshness for their money," said John Ebert of the Springdale Farm Market.

"The price doesn't matter to me, because the quality is so up-there," said shopper Sue Abel of Audubon, New Jersey.

At Johnson Farm in Medford, New Jersey blueberries are a big pick- your-own item. The first peaches will be ready in a couple weeks as well as Jersey sweet corn.

To fill the market shelves though produce comes from out of state. The longer the distance the higher the transportation costs. Close to home-grown helps hold the line on prices for consumers.

"If a person buys locally the so-called food miles are less and that should be reflected in the prices," said Eric Johnson.

Vendors selling fruit and produce from the backs of trucks like this one in Chestnut Hill are growing in popularity as food prices rise.

Traore Viewx stocks up each morning at the Food Distribution Center in South Philadelphia.

"How are you able to charge less than the supermarket?" "Because I work by myself," he says.

Low overhead, and it gets passed along to consumers. People doing whatever they can to deal with food costs.