Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why SLO Foods?
Answer: Supply Line Organic Buying Club exists to supplement and aid in building supply lines for our Seasonal, Local & Organic Food systems. We welcome any suggestions you have for improvement, but notice the word FAST is not in the name…for a reason; bulk buying takes advance planning and careful storage capability.
Question: Is everything SLO foods carries Organic?
Answer: Every attempt will be made to be very clear on the website so that you can make informed selections. We do have a strong bias toward organic, but occasionally items are marked as a Conventional product, but sourced from a more local source. We acknowledge supporting our local systems instead of disconnected systems 1500 miles away is a more sensible route to food security, but occasionally we carry items created by associates far away. We will always update the website to reflect if an item is Organic, as we do prioritize the Organic food model and support those who have worked to achieve their certification.
Question: There has been some negative press about industrial organic food, do you have any insights into this?
Answer: Nutrient loss, minimum standards, over-packaging, shipping distance and common sense are all contributing to the rationale of buying local. There are many foods that cannot be grown locally, so supporting the most sustainable practices is more important than ever. Having said that there are appropriate foods that can and should be grown locally–we just need to build the collective will and delivery systems to support the growers. If you are a food producer and we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Question: I can’t afford to buy full cases of some things. Is there a way of buying smaller amounts?
Answer: Some split cases are available. There will be a double entry, one for full and one for half cases. Please ensure you order the correct one. Another way is to arrange to share cases with others and split it up yourself. The Facebook Page is another good way to share large quantities: SLO Foods Facebook Page
Question: Can I avoid the $5 delivery fee and pick my items up?
Answer: Yes! Pickup is available at the Gabriola Community Hal but SLO Foods is also a delivery system.The difference between 45 cars driving to the Community Hall and one car making deliveries is a large differential in footprint/emissions, so take that into consideration when placing your order. Please note that we pay for your goods up front and appreciate payment as soon as possible after delivery.
Question: Why is “food security” such a concern?
Answer: Food security has many different facets, SLO Foods is focused on assisting in supporting and rebuilding of our local systems.
Over the past 30 years the rush toward globalization of the food agribusiness has come close to destroying the “culture” surrounding our local food systems. This was largely based on cheap oil and the promise of so called miracle “agri-chemicals”(pesticides, herbicides, growth supplements) and has had a destabilizing affect on local agriculture. While there is justification for some of this, there is growing evidence that local food systems are better qualified to take into consideration the overall health and welfare of our communities.
As we witnessed, heavy rainfall in November 2021 damaged several highways in southern B.C., including Highway 1 and Highway 8, which saw extensive closures because of catastrophic flood damage. About 630,000 chickens, 420 cattle and 12,000 hogs died in the Sumas Prairie as the rain and flooding inundated homes, barns and farmland. Our SLO Foods buying club members felt the impact with delayed and unavailable items over the subsequent months, but because as they had purchased their bulk in quantity and in advance they were able to continue with their regular diets during this difficult break in our supply chains.
Of course we witnessed this “empty shelves” phenomenon as well during the early days of the Covid 19 pandemic, but for different reasons…the worldwide shipping was interrupted. Our members felt this impact less as they had full pantries of as locally sourced organic bulk as possible. As the experts are saying we are witnessing the tail end of what they call the “grocery store heyday” where almost any food (tropical and International) you want is accessible with a simple drive across town to buy the item you want. This will be changing from now on into the future. If you are interested in the future of food, listen to this CBC Spark episode: The Next Big Thing: Food ~ https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-55-spark/clip/15915344-545-next-big-thing-food
Question: What is the best way to store my bulk goods? Answer: Air tight, cool spaces….some prefer buckets, some prefer glass, and some prefer fridge/ freezer. We recommend researching the items you are buying in quantity for the BEST storage options per item. The rule of thumb is airtight, cool, critter proof. SLO Foods is looking into carrying storage options on the website!