Locally grown. Locally owned. After decades of big business outsourcing, wearing clothes made in Taiwan and powering-up electronics manufactured in China; as Americans, we’ve fallen in love with the idea of supporting local businesses. It feels almost…rewarding…to stroll through the Farmer’s Market and float a few bucks to buy produce grown down the road. Finding a trustworthy, reliable mechanic with two bays and handwritten receipts is like stumbling upon a vein of gold in some over-stripped, condemned mine high in the Sierras, 165-years after “The Rush.”
While we’ve become more “connected” globally, a near-desperate need for tangible community has arisen; with proximal neighbors who support each other through handshakes, trade and transaction. From produce to products to services provided, we now place more VALUE on contributing to the economy within a realistic, everyday radius of the house.
But…as unapologetic capitalists, we’re also “thrifty” by nature – a characteristic cemented in the American psyche as moral and honorable, defining the integrous person. Our need to be thrifty is now instinctual…subliminal.
Yet, consider this: That core value – thriftiness – is what inspired business leaders to outsource in the first place; to save money on manufacturing and labor; to grow the business by decreasing expense. End result? The “thrifty” business leader and his savvy investors grew their wealth, while others….lost their jobs.
Yikes. Suddenly thrifty doesn’t sound like such a virtuous characteristic; certainly not in a context where jobs are eliminated, moved overseas and neighbors struggle to feed their families. That said, when we find ourselves chosing a grocery store, retail outlet, restaurant or service provider – WHAM! There it is again. Our thriftiness resumes its “honorable” status and becomes the dominant tug determining where we’ll shop, eat or who we’ll hire.
Some will say: “Reality check! Andy, there’s a difference between thriftiness and greed.” True…but to be successfully greedy, one has to master the design of being skillfully thrifty. To me, “greed” is not a characteristic. Greed is someone’s chosen perception of another who has a black-belt in thrift.
So…does saving a few bucks by shopping online or at a deep-discount national chain make me thrifty…or a greedy neighbor?** A rhetorical question, I guess. As rewarding as shopping locally can feel, the need to save a few bucks has become like the smoker’s mandatory first cigarette of the day.
** Honestly Andy, it makes you “cheap.” You buy your socks at Dollar General for crap’s sake.
[divider style=”solid”]With one specific nutritional retail business, shopping locally is truly the only thing that makes sense: The honey producer.
Dozens of honey brands are available at your favorite box-store, most heated and artificially sweetened during production, completely removing the product’s nutritional value. Honey is so much more than a glorified condiment. Consuming raw honey, produced by bees in one’s own region, can actually help acclimate the body to the local pollens and diminish Springtime misery for allergy sufferers. When local honey is left uncooked, maintaining the integrity of the royal jelly and propolis, then sweetened with a natural ingredient like cinamon – it not only tastes better than the mass produced variety, it’s healthier.
Honey is love. Love your honey.
Learn more about honey’s benefits at Honey Heaven on South Campbell in Springfield, Missouri. You can also find Honey Heaven on Hill Street at Branson’s Silver Dollar City, or at the Farmer’s Markets in Springfield and Ozark.