I was pushing a heavily-laden shopping cart around the frozen foods section at Super Wal-Mart the other day when I thought I saw someone I knew and was suddenly terribly, deeply embarrassed. “Oh god,” I thought, “please do not let me be seen shopping at Wal-Mart.” For somebody who is so self-righteous about supporting local restaurants and local growers it would seem awfully hypocritical to get caught shopping at a monster superstore responsible for putting some of those local businesses out of business? And then the pragmatic (or whiny?) side of my brain kicked in. “But I also needed to get a flashlight and potting soil and socks. And besides, they do have the best prices on Fresca and Baked Ruffles.” (Whoa, did I just divulge an unpleasant addiction to reduced-fat snack foods? Ack.) How are we to reconcile the urge to support the local economy with not having the time or money to run all over town searching for an Albuquerque-owned store that sells flashlights and then another that sells potting soil, all before doing the grocery shopping? For me, I try to spread my money around between growers markets, flea markets, little shops and friends. I try to minimize my trips to Wal-Mart and ... well ... try not to be seen shopping there when I do go.