The Bay Area in California is home to some of the best sources of boidynamic produce and animal products in the country. This really is the land of milk and honey! Or at least legal RAW milk and really RAW almonds. A health nut’s heaven!
The Grocery Store
I had no time to waste and had to buy everything. From grains, seeds, salts, spices, vegetables, milk, butter, pastured eggs and starter culture, to teas, pickling jars and even cleaning products. Naturally I hit Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.
Every city deserves access to a store like Rainbow. With the exception of meat and fish (which I wish they did carry), this store has everything you need, and in greater variety than any other natural foods store I’ve come across. Some things are a little expensive, but others are very affordable. The produce is extremely reasonable, as are the bulk bins. They have an extraordinary selection of bulk grains, nuts, seeds, flours, beans, teas, spices, medicinal herbs and more all under one roof.
Rainbow even stocks products from Donna Gates’ Body Ecology Store! Something I’ve never seen on a store shelf. Ordering things online is great when you want to get the best price, but how nice to be able to pop by Rainbow when you’re in a pickle and need some culture starter! And if you’re out of jars, you can get them too. Or what if you wake up with a hankering for some homemade kefir? Get your RAW milk together with Body Ecology kefir starter there too. This alone makes me want to move back the Bay.
Speaking of pickles, this was yet another feat of extraordinary selection, we found row upon row of artisinal lacto-fermented veggies and drinks.
If you live in the Bay Area, Rainbow is simply the best place to get all things vegetarian for a healthy body and home. Then hit the Fatted Calf to get your fully pastured meats. And when you need sustainably sourced fish check out Real Food Bay Area, which also sells other artisinal goods such as sprouted gluten free breads, dairy and more.
Rainbow should be the model for general grocery stores in America (with added butcher and fishmonger), while today’s ‘conventional’ stores should be annexed as specialty ‘junk food’ stores.
Doesn’t it seem strange that the stores we refer to as ‘health food’ are not the norm? That’s another post in the making. On to the Farmer’s Market!
The Farmer’s Market
I hadn’t been to a California Farmer’s Market in nearly a decade, and was thrilled to find that most vendors were organic. There were even several vendors selling 100% raw almonds! I couldn’t believe it.This may come as a surprise to you, but since 2007 ‘raw’ almonds sold everywhere in America are pasteurized. Almonds in their raw form have incredible healing properties. I greedily snatched up a big bag and will certainly stock up before I head back East.
Shortly after these happy distractions I found a couple vendors selling fully pasture-raised meats. Stocked up for the week and maybe beyond with a variety including whole chicken, beef steak, ground lamb, pork sausages and broth bones. Covered all the bases in one shot!
To make this type of shopping a sustainable practice for my parents, it was important to show them how easy it can be. A one stop shop certainly helps!
Finally, on our way out I was magnetically drawn to these beautiful chocolates. These come from a chocolatier located just outside of Berkeley in Emeryville, Coracao Confections. These beauties and many other types of chocolate treats are all made with raw and organic ingredients. Thankfully chocolate is easy to ship, so if you’re not in the Bay visit Coracao Confections on the web.