Since I prefer to walk everywhere...
Since I prefer to walk everywhere (a nice benefit of living on an islandno car payments!), grocery shopping can sometimes be a whole endeavor in and of itself.
I recently came across CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) in Jessica Alba's book The Honest Life and I just knew I had to share it with you!
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In today's modern world, we are very disconnected from the people who actually grow our food.
Back in the day, we used to know our local farmer and we knew how he (or she) grew the food, what kind of techniques we're used, and if we got sickwe knew who to talk to.
It kept farmers honest and trustworthy for a long time until the agricultural (industrial) revolution.
Since then, we have departed from knowing our local farmer and the growing process really became behind-the-scenes and has lead us down this dark path to pesticides and other chemical engineering.
It also has led us to not eating seasonally. Take a trip to any American grocery store, and you will find fruits and veggies of all seasonsregardless that's it's January and strawberries grow in the summer! This has further upset the natural balance of our diets and farming.
What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and allows people to have direct access to locally grown produce.
To become apart of the CSA and to "support" your local (or regional) farmer, you buy a "share" (a membership or subscription) of the company and have your "share" (box of food) delivered to your house or a local pick-up site.
You can pay for your share either weekly, monthly, or seasonally and most CSAs offer a variety of boxes (fruits only, veggies only, fruit and veggie mix, or other add-ons). Some CSAs allow you to quit your membership at any time and others have cancellation fees.
I don't know about you, but when I learned I could have someone DELIVER a box of farm fresh, organic fruits and veggies to my house, I JUMPED FOR JOY! No more carrying armfuls of bags for blocks and no more worrying about having to shop weekly to keep my fridge stocked with fresh food.
And on a side note grocery shopping on an island usually means that most of the fruits and veggies have been doused in preservatives and go bad days after buying them because they've been shipped in from all over the world. (That's why I love buying local from the farmers on the island.)
Who are CSAs For?
In one word: EVERYONE!
CSAs are great for the working mom, the stay at home mom, the corporate executive, the custodian, for anyone who enjoys eating whole, healthy foods.
Some Things to Consider Before Buying a Subscription
While I definitely promote CSAs, I understand that they're not for everyone. It's important to know yourself and know your eating and cooking habits before signing up with a CSA.
Not everyone enjoys cooking.
- Having an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies can be overwhelming for newbie chefs.
- It also opens up a realm of possibility for the novice chef as well, though.
- By knowing you are going to get yummy food every week, you might be inspired to look up wholesome recipes and try new things and expand your food horizons!
Not everyone has the time to cook.
- This is a big one. With the fast pace of the today's workweek schedule, finding the time to actually make healthy meals can be difficult!
- The great thing about fruits and veggies though, is that they make great raw snacks.
- You don't have to cook everything; you can grab a few handfuls of veggies and some fruit and snack throughout the day and maybe meal prep once a week. The options are endless.
When choosing to support a local farmer, this means that you understand that you will only be receiving seasonal foods.
- This may be a bit of a change for you if you're used to getting any fruit/veggie from the local grocery store.
- Eating seasonally is much healthier for us!
- This may take some time for you to adapt to but it is well worth the adjustment.
Also, sometimes things happen on the farm that affect what will be in your box each week.
- Local weather conditions affect the crops and sometimes there's an abundance of dark leafy greens but no apples. Hey, it happens.
Sometimes CSAs don't allow you to choose what comes in your box.
- Some allow you to customize and choose your box and others have predetermined boxes.
- You'll have to do a little research in deciding which CSA is right for you (I list my favorite down below!).
In my opinion, these are all relatively small things to consider when subscribing to have organic food delivered to your doorstep everyday but for others, these are important things to consider.
Benefits of Joining a CSA
- Knowing your farmer.
- This is important for many reasons! Most CSAs let you visit the farm and get to know the staff. You get to see how they grow the food and the level of transparency CSAs have gives us comfort in knowing our food is truly organic. (Everyone's seen the horror documentaries of industrial farms and caged chickens sitting in their own poop!)
- Eating locally sourced produce.
- In the history of human evolution, we have always eaten local food. It is a relatively new phenomenom of having food shipped all over the world. Eating locally ensures you are getting the most nutrients and the right balance of foods for your climate (what people eat in the Caribbean is much different from the people living in Nepal and for good reason!).
- Having a large portion of your weekly shopping list delivered to you saves TIME! You no longer have to spend an extra couple hours a week or month shopping. No more late night runs to the grocery store.
- Supporting local farmers.
- The best thing about supporting local farmers is that you are supporting a cause you believe in. Once corporations got a hold of the farming industry, quality of food went down and a disconnect to our food occurred. Local farmers have you, the consumer, in mind whereas big corporate farms have money in mind.
- Protecting the environment
- Organic farmers understand the importance of growing food the way nature intended. They nourish the soil and our planet by replenishing nutrients back into the ground and this helps to keep the environment as a whole healthy.
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Posted in Organic Products Post Date 02/16/2017