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People purchase vegetables at the Farmers Market in Ogden on Saturday, June 25. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)

I have begun a new journey in my life in which I practice what I preach. Week after week, I used to take a dreaded step into Wal-Mart, experiencing some of the worst cognitive dissonances one could imagine. I would justify my decisions with the thought: I’m poor; when I have money, I’ll stop shopping at this god-forsaken establishment.

More recently, however, I realized that I didn’t have to wait to become rich to shop elsewhere. It didn’t require an intervention by those around me. This was a choice I needed to make. No longer would I tell everyone else how horrible it is to support big businesses who refuse to give their employees a livable wage and then that very night support said business. Instead, I would buy local.

To some, this might sound ridiculous and impossible in the suburban community of Ogden, but I assure you, it’s not. First, find your locally owned grocery stores. This isn’t as hard as you might think, either. It might be a bit of a drive to do so, but the benefits far outweigh the quick skip and jump to the local Wally World.

Supporting local grocery stores supports you. You see, when you buy from the big guy, you are giving money to a company that underpays their employees and sends most of the money back to headquarters, far away from the Utah economy. Buying local spurs Utah’s economy and supports your local neighborhood.

However, like I mentioned, buying from a local grocery store might require a bit of a drive, so the second life changing aspect I did was plant a garden. There are plenty of nurseries in our local area that have garden-ready fruits and vegetables that don’t take up much room at all. I live in an apartment but still have the room for cabbage, tomatoes, strawberries, huckleberries, jalapeños, bell peppers, garlic and green peas.

Finally, while waiting for those plants to produce, head down to the Farmer’s Market Ogden. On June 25, Ogden held the first of many 25th Street Farmers Markets this year. The market is on 25th and Grant and will run every Saturday until September 17th.

So next time that you are walking through a grocery store, take a step back and ask who you are supporting: is it you and your local community, or is it someone thousands of miles away who cares very little about your life? And when you answer this question remember: it’s not as hard to make the right decision as some might want you to think.

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