The days of making a trip down to the Sasamat Safeway for my fortnightly four-litre jug of milk are over; having moved off-campus, it seems I’m going to be doing most of my shopping on it.
This is for several reasons:
(a) Getting from home to place-that-sells-food without a car requires me to take two buses (or one bus and walk quite far). I believe in direct routes. And minimal walking when burdened with a week’s worth of groceries, i.e. the jug of milk + other items.
(b) I’ve discovered that Canadian vegetables are like their cookies: Very Big. I can only consume one vegetable per week since I only dine on it. (I eat toast for breakfast and lunch at the SUB with my leftover money from last year’s meal plan.) I prefer not to take a special half-hour trip to buy a single vegetable those weeks I don’t need milk and eggs.
(c) My vegetable tends to die halfway through the week. (Correction: My vegetable tends to wither and stop being fresh halfway through the week. I realize it’s already quite dead.) And I only have time to go grocery-shopping over the weekends.
So instead, I have found places on-campus where I can buy my beloved groceries while I’m in school, thus killing two birds with one stone (what a brutal metaphor):
Sprouts in the SUB Basement is a student volunteer-run fresh-produce store that also offers baked goods, freshly-made soup and other interesting organic items, including one of my favourite chocolates ever. They sell vegetables from the UBC Farm, a place I love and support, and have the added advantage of being organic. Not being a varsity athlete, I figure I can afford to spend the extra dosh on organic food. To be honest, I’m not sure how much more expensive it is compared to conventional foods from Safeway, but my budget isn’t hurting yet. Plus since the portions aren’t quite as insanely huge, I can buy something fresh and different mid-week. Yay variety!
The Specialty Food Store in the Village whose name I don’t actually know is a gem of a place. It has the oddest variety of fruits, vegetables, organic substances, packaged items, Asian foods and seasonings… I’ll admit the Asian foods and seasonings have me. This will save me a trip to T&T whenever I’m looking for something the least bit homey.
The UBC Farm runs Saturday markets which, alas, I have not yet gone to or am likely to this year. The Farm is unfortunately less easy to access without a car, and no longer living on campus, it becomes even more difficult to get from here to there. I believe there’s another farm market nearer me right now than UBC. But I highly encourage any food-lovers to go check it out, tell me what you think of it and whether it’s as good as I always hope it will be. Perhaps next year I shall be able to make it out there — unless UBC does the cruel thing of selling the land and turning it into property housing, thus bringing an end to the last working farm in Vancouver and forevermore removing all chances of there ever being a farm again.