Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lovin' My CSA Box

I recently signed up to have organic produce delivered to my home from local farms. The "CSA" box as it is often called, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, is really starting to catch on. I signed up for Planet Organics, which delivers farm fresh fruits and vegetables from five local farms in and around the Bay Area.

I scheduled my delivery for this past Tuesday. As I left the house at around 8:30am, the box was already at my door! The produce comes in a reusable green plastic container that you leave for them to pick up when they drop off your next delivery. I opened the box, and at first had a slight feeling of disappointment. The vegetables and fruit are simply sitting in the box, not grouped in bags or containers (except for the blueberries), just sitting there sort of helpless.

But then I thought, this is not the supermarket, this is not the heavily plastic-wrapped goods found at large chain stores (or even Trader Joes). No, this is my CSA box, and the whole reason I am ordering this delivery is because it is organic, travels a very short distance, and is not wrapped in excessive and unnecessary plastic. Therefore, I should not complain with it arrives in a box, not otherwise packaged or wrapped individually.

Last night we had the fresh zucchini and orange tomatoes in our Farfalle pasta dish--they were excellent! Today I had one of the plums, which was equally delicious.

Gradually, I am trying to re-connect with food in a way that strips it of everything that is corporate, industrial, and processed. I feel very lucky to have the option of a local CSA as well as a weekly and year-round farmer's market less than a mile from where I live.

Today, while picking up a few paper-related products at Safeway, I stood in line watching the people behind me unload the items from their cart. Their ENTIRE cart was filled with boxed, processed, frozen foods--many of which were part of the Weight Watchers brand of food products. There was not a single un-processed item in their entire cart, not one. I looked on in amazement --looking for signs that perhaps this was not their normal order. Everything they bought, they bought two or three of the item. There weren't even any frozen "whole" foods, such as frozen vegetables or frozen fruit. Everything was a heavily processed frozen "dinner" or "dessert." I was instantly reminded that the majority of the nation is not eating simple, unprocessed, fruits of the earth. Instead, people are eating foods that are injected with an overabundance of corn or soy products, few nutrients, and too much fat or in the alternative a whole lot of fake sugars.

All I can say is that I cherish real food, touched only by sun, water, earth, insects, animals, and of course the human hands that tended the crops. I choose to make political statements not only through my vote, but with what I choose to consume and not consume. If people start/continue to make political statements with their purchasing power, especially over food, more will change than in any single Congressional term. Where there is demand, there will be supply--help put a dent in the demand!!!

No comments: