Monday, September 17, 2012

In Praise of the Local Market – Crosby’s

         When the terms at bookstores were impractical for me to place my book, I looked around for other options. I asked two local venues who gladly picked up my Indie novella, When Two Women Die, about legends and true crime in the historic seacoast town of Marblehead, Massachusetts – a fine art gallery, Arnould Gallery and the local market, Crosby’s. I want to thank them both for their generosity and ability to think outside the traditional box.
            Who wouldn’t love Arnould Gallery’s amazing collection of art? I was truly honored to be amongst those artists.
            However, there’s more to tell about why I love Crosby’s. I love Crosby’s because I can live organically, and without a car if I had to, simply by patronizing this elegant small market. Without Crosby’s, I and many other people who walk there, would be in a food and household item desert. I know there are other places in town to get food and household necessities; for me, the basics are all at Crosby’s.
            I’ve had a few struggles trying to get that bastion of whole foods, Whole Foods to actually live up to their name. I’ve been macrobiotic for nearly 40 years now, and brown rice with roasted unhulled sesame seeds is the basis of most of our meals. I worked for months to get unhulled sesame seeds, rich in Vitamin B1, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and many other nutrients and minerals, back into our local Whole Foods. For some reason, Whole Foods had taken this valuable whole food out of the store in favor of refined, hulled sesame seeds, which are stripped of their nutrients and quite frankly, taste like candy. Refined, I reminded them, is NOT the title of your store, NOR your mission. I had to order a case of unhulled seeds in packages from Arrowhead Mills for a while, until miraculously, someone heard my prayers and returned this simple and marvelous food to the Whole Foods’ shelf.
            That struggle didn’t happen in Crosby’s. One day, I asked a young man if Crosby’s would possibly get organic broccoli. He said he’d ask. I expected him to forget he ever talked to me. The next time I went in, there was a stack of lovely, deep green organic broccoli! I gratefully put this precious food into my cart and kept a lookout for the young man.
            I found him and asked, incredulously, “Did you remember our conversation about organic broccoli?”
            “Yes, I did.”
            “Did the store get organic broccoli for me?”
            “Yes, they did.”
            Of course, I thanked him, but I was still rattled.
            I can’t tell you what a miracle this kind of immediate and responsible action is from a store.
            I started looking around.
            In Crosby’s you can find organic milk, organic yogurt, organic strawberries, organic blueberries, organic apples, organic cherry tomatoes, organic green peppers, organic carrots, organic oranges, organic lemons, organic coffee, organic eggs, and traveling down the aisles, organic mustard, organic pasta (more than one variety), organic brown rice, organic chicken, organic cooking oil, and I’m sure there’s much more and I’m not doing justice to the many kinds of organics in the store.
            In short, Crosby’s makes it possible for me to live simply and well, and organically. Obviously, I’m not the only customer who wants organics, and Crosby’s has responded. *
            I’m really proud to have had my book in this store. When Two Women Die sold out, and now, I’d like to move ahead. I’m working on the sequel. I felt such a strong sense of responsibility to several of my characters who were left in bad situations, that I wanted to continue their stories. Soon, the sequel will be released.
            Till then, I want to say thanks, Gene Arnould and thanks, Crosby’s.

*I highly recommend that anyone interested in eating more organic foods - or, as I like to call it - food - since everything else is some deviation from the original - ask, just ask, and keeping asking, your local market for them. Smaller local markets are freer to choose what goes on their shelves; they don’t have the kind of corporate restraints that large supermarket chains have. In fact, if more people ask for organics, more and more, even large chains will realize the potential for profit. And, if you think organics are expensive, think about medical procedures – how many medical procedures cost $4-$20? It’s possible organic foods could keep you out of the hospital.

©Patricia Goodwin, 2012

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