Since communal gatherings are on hold, I thought I would provide some actionable tips that might be helpful:
Small Grocery Stores
A few grocery stores I go to are Plum Market in Old Town, Dill Pickle in Logan Square, and Local Foods in Bucktown. They haven’t been too crowded during times when larger grocery stores like Whole Foods were packed. If you want the convenience of efficiently ordering food sourced from local farms and purveyors while maintaining social distancing, Local Foods provides a great option, as they have become a NO CONTACT store as of today for the indefinite future. You can order online, call them at 312-432-6575, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They provide both delivery and curbside pick-up at specified times.
Some of my favorite items at Local Foods are Publican Sourdough Bread at only $5.99 for a loaf, Gunthorp Farms Chicken, and their fresh spinach. I especially like getting the sourdough bread and chicken because it’s not easy finding pastured chicken or high quality bread. In fact, there’s even a documentary that provides more information on how this bread is made. For more information on buying chicken, beef, and eggs as well as the the importance of pasture-raised animals, see a few of my FlavCity guest appearances here, here, here, and here.
Due to the closure of farmer’s markets, Naturally Chicago has provide a list of farms that you can order directly from. If you want more resources, I have compiled an extensive list of over 200 Midwestern farms with detailed information on each farm, including rating/certification information by independent third parties. I can also send this in Excel format for those who are interested.
Dining at a Distance is also a great resource that helps you find a local farm in any region throughout the country.
LocalHarvest connects people looking for good food with the farmers who produce it.
Eatwild was founded in 2001 to promote the benefits—to consumers, farmers, animals, and the planet—of choosing meat, eggs, and dairy products from 100% grass-fed animals or other non-ruminant animals fed their natural diets. Today it is the #1 clearinghouse for information about pasture-based farming and features a state-by-state plus Canada directory of local farmers who sell their pastured farm and ranch products directly to consumers.
Not content to just spread the word about healthier meat, eggs, and dairy, Eatwild founder Jo Robinson published a new book—Eating on the Wild Side—which soon became a NY Times Bestseller. This book presents 21st-century research about the important health benefits of choosing specific varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as hands-on advice on how to shop for them, grow them, cook them, and store them maintain their nutritional value. Jo gleaned this information by reviewing thousands of research articles, providing a wealth of information you will not find anywhere else. Read more about this prize-winning book…
Today, Eatwild.com provides research-based information about “eating on the wild side.” This means choosing present-day foods that approach the nutritional content of wild plants and game—our original diet. Evidence is growing on an almost daily basis that these wholesome foods give us more of the nutrients we need to fight disease and enjoy optimum health. Few of us will go back to foraging in the wild for our food, but we can learn to forage in our supermarkets, farmers markets, and from local farmers to select the most nutritious and delicious foods available.
Home Delivery Options
Irv and Shelly’s partners with local farms makes healthy food deliveries to homes and businesses all year-round including organic produce, grass-fed meats, farm fresh eggs & dairy, baked goods, seasonal boxes and other grocery items.
White Oak Gourmet offers Chef Crafted, Home Style Meals, Freshly Prepared and Delivered to You. Heat and eat at your convenience. Organic, Locally Sourced Ingredients, GMO Free. Offers Free Delivery for all orders over $75 in their Delivery Area and Free Pick-up on any size order at any of our convenient hubs.
Mick Klug Farm has a wide variety of produce including frozen blackberries and blueberries (sometimes strawberries and cherries as well) for only $15 for a 4 pound bag, and they offer free home delivery in Chicago and a few suburbs. Check out the link to their online store here.
Mint Creek Farm has eggs that are pastured, certified organic, non-GMO, and soy-free, which is especially important as explained here and here. These kinds of eggs aren’t easy to find, so I wanted to let everyone know they are available. These are the best eggs that I know of.
Sevon Sons Farms has a wide variety of meat available at two Chicago pick-up locations as well as home delivery. I love having the convenience of ordering what I want there instead of having to order a box of pre-selected items. They also have sales on occasion, so you may want to follow them on social media.
Apsey Farms also has a wide variety of meat and typically has ground beef sales twice a year. I am on their e-mail list so I can stay posted.
Brian Severson Farms offers non-GMO and stone ground grains and flours. I just ordered 10 pounds of their oatmeal for only $2.80 per pound including delivery.
Thrive Market is an American e-commerce membership-based retailer offering natural and organic food products at reduced costs that delivers anywhere in the country. The company’s mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for every American family.
Sitka Salmon Shares is a completely integrated boat-to-doorstep seafood company where a group of fisherman/owners deliver the fish. They have a small processing plant in Sitka, Alaska, where they custom-process their catch with a laser focus on quality and traceability. And they have two Good-Fish Hubs in the Midwest, which allow them to deliver their fishermen’s catch directly to your doorstep (or to your local farmers market or restaurant).
Green City Market has developed an app for home delivery. If you thought GCM’s Virtual Market was cool, you’re in for a treat. The Green City Market team has been hard at work with our vendors and WhatsGood to launch Green City Market Delivered, powered by WhatsGood! Download the WhatsGood app now or create an account at sourcewhatsgood.com.
Closed Loop Farms is an urban farm located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago. We are Chicago’s premier grower of microgreens, servicing top restaurants throughout the Chicagoland Area. Microgreens are seedling versions of larger vegetables, containing 4 – 40 X the nutrient density of their respective fully grown vegetables! All of our microgreens are grown in organic potting soil with no synthetic fertilizer or pesticides applied. We hand-cut all of our greens and deliver them to your door within 24 hours of harvest, so they are as fresh and nutrient rich as possible when you receive them.
Crown Prince Natural Sardines are not only incredibly nutritious, but they are also cheap, less likely to contain mercury than other fish, and actually taste good (if you like tuna fish, you will probably like sardines since they have the same texture). I would recommend the boneless (even less likely to contain mercury than bone-in) and without olive oil, as its better to add your own unfiltered, cold-pressed olive oil. I get 12 cans per month delivered from Amazon, which reduces the price even further, and I am yet to have any delays.
I get my food from each of these places, so I can personally attest to their quality. Many other farms offer home delivery options as well.