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For those people who really know their way around a kitchen, healthful and sustainable foods will often have a home in the pantry no matter what sort of loops the economy is going through.

chickencurry_sm.jpgI’m thinking, specifically, of the readers of culinary sites and publications like Allrecipes.com, which recently shared with SN the results of its end-of-the-year audience poll. Not surprisingly, the majority of these spatula-wielding consumers said they’re eating out less (73%). More inclined than ever to cook and eat at home, most of them are buying the same amount or more of organic and natural food, and close to half say they’re picking out sustainably grown food and seafood. The biggest change, however — and this shouldn’t surprise you readers of Whole Health and Refresh.com — is with locally grown food. Forty six percent said they’ve bought more local items this year than last year.

All told, 86% of Allrecipes.com readers say they’re buying locally grown these days. Coming from culinary adventurers, this speaks to the freshness of ingredients that skip the long haul. It could also speak to the value of these products, since, when supermarkets get the logistics right, they can end up being close to the same price or even cheaper than their conventional counterparts.

allrecipes_sm.jpgMany at-home cooks understand that, although healthful and sustainable items might cost more, their wellness benefits have tremendous value. Supermarkets should follow their lead — and don’t forget to look over their shoulder while they’re at it: Nearly 70% of Allrecipes' readers say they’re shopping at farmer’s markets.

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