Why don't I participate in a CSA?

My friend Marian is out of town this week so I was the lucky recipient of her CSA share from New Terra Farms. Marian, don’t take this the wrong way but… please go out of town every week.

Look at this bountiful harvest! Tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, soybeans, okra, cucumber, squash. Glorious day.

Back around last Christmas I read a book called Plenty, which sparked my local Carolina food challenge earlier this summer. It’s an intriguing look at the impact modern agriculture has had on what we eat and when, and I recommend it to everyone.

Just as I don’t think that everyone in the world has to be a vegetarian because that’s what I think is right for me, I don’t think everyone in the world has to eat food grown only in their backyards. I do, however, think that people who choose to eat factory farmed meat should understand where it comes from and how it gets to their plates. The same goes, then, for people who choose to eat factory farmed produce. Because let’s be honest, we self righteous vegetarians love to get onto meat eaters about all the trouble they’re causing dear Mother Earth, but we neglect to address similar problems resulting from the mass production of fruits, vegetables and grains.

I am by no means saying that I eat in a way that leaves no impact on the environment or field workers or the economy, but I am saying that it’s important to educate yourself on the issues and make the best choices you can. I’m also not saying I’m vehemently anti-modern agriculture. Advances in agriculture are what drive away famine, forge new industries and new jobs and make food available in places where it otherwise isn’t.

You all know I’ll be the first to eat a plate of quinoa from Peru, avocado from Mexico and coconut from a rainforest I’ve never heard of without venturing farther than my local Trader Joe’s. BUT the farther away our food is farmed, the farther we’re pulled away from what we have right here at home, which, as it turns out, is plenty.

Just some food for thought. Articles of interest:

Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home

The Banana Trade War

 Fair Trade Coffee: Building Producer Capacity via Global Networks


4 thoughts on “Plenty

  1. So true.
    I feel the same way.

    I eat meat (oh, the horror!) these days, but ONLY if know where it came from. So basically, I buy my meat locally, and eat as a vegetarian when at restaurants and in other people’s homes, etc. I think everyone is tired of hearing me talk about meat. (But then, hello? Giant-ass ground turkey recall? Thankyouverymuch).
    But give up my bananas? wine? chocolate? And oh god, coffee? No way!
    I do local the best that I can. It is what works for me.

    But the reason you don’t belong to a CSA – is b/c it is EXPENSIVE! (Or maybe that is why I don’t belong? Yep). I’m certain that I drop the $500-$600 over the course of 20-some-odd weeks at the Farmer’s Market; but paying for everything up-front is a little off-putting, for me personally. Plus, I would miss my weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market, talking to the farmers and seeing friends, etc.
    Don’t get me wrong – I think CSAs are great – they just aren’t for me at this time. But the contents of that box… BEAUTIFUL! :)


  2. Yesss I’m so glad you got some good loot!

    I’ve been focusing a lot more on eating and shopping locally, and I feel like it just gives me more of a connection to where I am and what I’m eating. Knowing WHO pulled your food out of the ground and WHERE they did it is pretty damn cool if you ask me.

    Of course I still eat my quinoa and drink my tea and shove bananas in my face every morning like it’s my JOB, but it’s good to feel like I’m at least making an effort. Awesome post, and thanks for sharing the articles!!

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