Food Swapping

EBCA Food Swap 07 09 2011 152
[Image via Swap It Oakland]
As the name suggests, food swapping is when friends and neighbors get together and swap food like garden produce or baked goods. In some areas groups have formed devoted to food swaps. Some people are calling it the future of grocery shopping.
I’ve been doing more food swapping this year. On Facebook, I joined a local group where people swap food. Being in California, we all have overabundant persimmon, lemon, and apple trees, and many people have eggs from their chickens, honeycomb from their bees, and extra baked goods to get rid of. Swapping just makes sense and the group seems to be thriving.
In addition to the Facebook group, I’ve been swapping with friends and neighbors. I swapped squash for apples, lemons for pears. Mr. Savvy swapped beer for homemade wine and homemade bacon for smoked salmon.
I’m trying to get my friends who make cheese to swap chicken eggs with me. I even have my eye on my next door neighbor’s persimmon tree and have been working up the nerve to ask if we can trade produce. I’m shy, so this is hard.
There’s something exhilarating about getting food without exchanging money. Since you’re usually giving away something you don’t want, you feel like you are getting food for free. And if you’re doing food swapping the right way, the other person should have the same experience. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Tell me about your food swapping experiences. What do you swap? How did you get it started? What’s your best score?

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