Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Shopping, Don't Forget About Michigan

How ironic, I was just thinking about doing some research and writing a blog about all the wonderful Michigan-made products that are out there when I came across a great story today by Kate Lawson of the Detroit News featuring such foods (see article: Buy Local, Buy Fresh).

I had the "blog idea" last night when I was reflecting on all the chaos that is swallowing up my beloved mitten state. I started playing scenarios in my mind that could help our state to flourish like it did in the 1920's, and I came up with this thought: What if Michigan closed itself off from the rest of the states and began fending strictly for ourselves? No national trade agreements needed with foreign countries, no milk and cheese from Wisconsin or pineapple from the tropics... We could only eat our food and use Michigan-made products. I quickly realized that that situation could never happen, but alas, made a note to myself to start paying more attention to where my stuff originates.

Granted it can be a challenge, but it truly would be great if we all agreed to try to buy Michigan-made products when given the opportunity to choose (regardless of price). Sure, sometimes the no-name Michigan brands prove to be more costly then all the products we have from China, but doesn't it feel good that we are helping our state that so desperately needs our love and support?

So what are some Michigan-specific products? You have the infamous Faygo pop, Koegel hot dogs and Better Made chips, but what else is out there?

There's condiments, dips and marinades. Cherry-made products, including wine. Golf and hunting items. And of course, fresh meat and produce from Michigan farmers.
And according to the article, there's a lot more and I've only highlighted a few:
Sauces: Al Dente pasta and sauces; Andiamo's sauces; Sweet Lorraine's marinades; Garden Fresh Gourmet salsas (my personal fave) Billy Bones barbecue sauces; Sensonetti salsas; Cafi Cortina pasta sauces; Freshwater Foods toppings, sauces and marinades; American Spoon Foods jams, jellies and preserves; and Kenzoil.

Breads and desserts: Achatz pies; Avalon Bakery breads; Gayle's Chocolates (another amazing one); Johnny B's cookies; Alinosi's ice cream; Stucchi's ice cream; Guernsey Dairy; Spillson's Rice Pudding; The Bloomfield Canopy's The Original Cheesecake Co.

Miscellaneous: Buell Honey; Safies pickled beets, asparagus, peppers, beans, pickles; Wee Bee Farms honey; A Bean To Go Coffee; Germack nuts; Trenary Toast; Stakich bee pollen and royal jelly; Kingslake & Crane Granola; Zingerman's coffee, breads and cheeses; and oh, the Michigan wines.

For a comprehensive, Michigan-specific list of products, check out this site: The Directory of Michigan Made Products.

So next time you're shopping at a Michigan store, think of putting your money back into the state a bit. And, most importantly, don't forget your post-consumer recycled tote to carry all your goodies in.

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