Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have just started our travel adventure with a new travel trailer. We have a fairly good sized refrigerator. An adequate amount of pantry space, and a few bins we can use for food storage. The problem is we do not like buying in quantity at the big discount shopping stores. We have always bought at our local food co-op where we find good, fresh, quality food.
Can we just kiss goodbye the idea of finding this on the road? Are we going to have to change our eating habits to align ourselves more with the diet constraints of the big box stores?
This may sound like a small problem, but we enjoy preparing good healthy meals and do not want to give up fresh organic fruits and vegetables. —Food Fright in Fredericksburg
Part of the adventure is that things will be different. You will have to adjust to the conditions you discover as you move along. It will also depend where you plan to spend your time. It makes sense that the bigger the population density of an area the more choices of everything, including food you will find.
That is not always the case, so using the internet will allow you to explore more rural areas for the type of stores you prefer.
There seems to be a trend and demand by consumers for more healthy choices in food. I see much more in the way of organics even in the big box stores.
Health food stores are not as rare, even in rural areas, as you may think. It just takes a bit more effort to seek them out.
Another option we use is to buy freeze dried veggies and fruits in #10 cans. At first you get sticker shock when you scan the price, but you have to do some math and compare the volume to fresh.
As a long distance backpacker I am very familiar with several brands. Once rehydrated these products taste fresh and delicious.
Another thing to look for, and ask about, are farmers markets. They are popular gathering places all over the country with all kinds of fresh, locally grown food choices.
Soon you will be able to order online from anywhere and expect Amazon to drone it in to your campsite within the hour! Talk about fresh.
With a little homework I don’t think finding good healthy food is as troublesome as it first appears.
The world is full of fruits and nuts. In your travels you will run into a wide variety. —Keep Smilin’. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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We look forward to having to shop in the towns we pass through while RV'ing. In the smaller towns, the fresh veggies might be less 'fresh' than we're used to. If too bad, we pass. Otherwise they're just fine. We jump at the chance to shop at larger supermarkets we pass, provided there's enough room to park (and even more importantly, GET OUT). We never eat out, and do the "slow food" thing in our trailer. It's all about the adventure, whether it's on the stove, or on the trail.
Don't just pass up the box stores, because there may still be fresh foods that you can load up on. Costco sells nice packages of berries that are reasonably priced, as well as other fruits and veggies. Yes, you can't eat a big supply of any one item, but as we look around, we can often find something that appeals and is healthy.
We've been full-time RVing for over seven years and when we headed out we felt exactly the way Food Fright does. Over the years we've seen more and more "big box" stores carry organic food, Almond milk and other items that 10-15 years ago we could only find at our local health-food store or co-op. Even smaller stores are stocking these items. And farmer's markets seem to be everywhere! The key is to keep your eyes open, and ask. If a grocery store you've stopped in doesn't have something you're looking for, ask if there's another nearby alternative -- a market or produce stand that might have it. We've found some amazing things along the way -- but haven't been without great food, from here to Alaska and back, from East Coast to West.
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