In September my wife and I were in New York. When I lived there it was before I had kids and so I didn't do as much cooking at home. However when I did go grocery shopping, New York gave me so much inspiration... so much more then Sweden. There are the local small shops, small Italien owned meat shops, small bread stores, cheese shops, etc. There is also Whole Foods which has an amazing selection of organic products as well as Trader Joes which also has organic as well as fair trade. Organic products/produce is slowly becoming available as well as sought after here in Sweden but it is still very expensive. There is also not as wide a selection of produce or food alternatives for example if you are a vegan then Sweden is not the best place to live. The one shopping experience which is my favorite and to me a very New York experience is the farmers markets, specifically the one at Union Square.
The Union Square Farmers Market brings upstate and New Jersey farmers to the city every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The market offers hundreds of varities of seasonal vegetables. You can taste as you shop, speak with local farmers about their produce, buy freshly made lemonade or apple cider. At the market you can find local organic meats, as well as cheeses, artisian breads, jams, honey and fresh flowers. The market is year round and the prices are worth the trip to 14th Street. Here in Stockholm I would absolutely travel to a farmers market that sells organic and/or local produce because I believe the flavors are so much better, as well as the varities not to mention that it is the greener choice. For me to walk around such colorful fruits, vegetables and people whom love food as much as I do is very inspirational for me.
In Stockholm City we have the farmers market at Hötorget which is a good size but the variety is not good. All the stands carry the same thing, the sellers shout at you as you walk by and the variety is not local nor organic. If you are lucky you might find a Swedish Strawberry in the middle of the summer. I think the countryside is much better but I wish Sweden would get better at bringing things into the city.
During the summer my family and I travel down to Öland and there we eat basically 90% local. On Öland either my father grows the food we eat, hunts or fishes the food or we trade with neighbors and/or we go just a few miles away to the local farmers markets and buy.
I think it is important to support our local farmers and artisians. The more in demand they are the more they will be willing to make the trip into our neighborhoods to sell. During spring and summer they can be found here in Stockholm but it is not very often. So, if anyone has any tips or information on how we can get greener or more local here in Stockholm... I would love to hear it! Otherwise you can find me at Ica Maxi on Monday...