Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?
We joined a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) Farm this year after Sara had finished reading Michael Pollans' Omnivore's Dilemma. We had been thinking of doing it before, but we had just never lived in one place long enough to actually do it.
The way it works is that you buy a share of the farm's seasonal production. Every week you go to the farm (some have collection sites away from the farm) and pick up that week's harvest. Our share started producing in mid-June and hopefully it will go long into the fall (probably mid- to end of October). After our first share, we realized the two of us could not consume everything we got in a week, so we split the share with a fellow anthropologist from the college where I work.
So far we have gotten a lot of lettuce and greens, a few peas (the fields got flooded in May and most of the planted peas got washed away), cucumbers, radishes, beets, basil, cilantro, parsley, carrots, and beans. It is fun seeing how the produce changes each week.
It is also nice chatting with the farmers and hearing what is doing well and what some of their struggles are.
For the most part, the veggies also taste great. There were a couple of radishes that where just to sharp and bitter for my liking.
Unfortunately, we are still very much tied into the large food production network. But I like mangos, avocados, coffee, spices, cheeses etc. too much to give up on it completely. I do try to get milk and yogurt from grass-fed and hormone/antibiotic-free cows. I think it is important to just be aware of where your food comes from, even if you can't or do not want to consume local, organic, and ethically produced food.
There have been omens about the breakdown or the poisoning of the food network recently. Sometime soon there will probably be a bigger emergency. I hope it doesn't come down my path.
With that I am off to munch on something that came from the field in the picture above.