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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why we joined a CSA

Andrew and I recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program with Breezy Willow Farm, which starts today!  You may be asking, "What is that?".  It is a program that supports local farms and locally grown foods.  We pay into a "share" of the farm and receive back fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, honey, and eggs!  As you can imagine, this will be a very exciting time for this blog, because I will never really know exactly what I am getting until about the day before pick-up!  So our menu will always be changing with the seasons.  For example, today I will be picking up apples, blood oranges, grapefruits, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, spinach, butternut squash, eggs, Lavendar-Rosemary Bread, and Apple Crumb Bread!  What a great assortment for March!

Back in November, we rented the movie Food, Inc. (which I highly recommend), because I had seen an episode of Oprah discussing the movie.  In the movie, experts, farmers, activists, concerned mothers, etc discuss the state of our nation's food supply.  In simple terms, how Americans are willing to settle for easy, cheap, overly processed foods, in order to save time and money without thinking of the long-term effects.  The movie had such an impact on me.  I knew we needed to make a change in our eating habits here at reason this blog was created...and make wiser choices with the brands and items we purchase at the grocery store.  (If you watch the film, you will never be able to buy chicken from 2 certain brand names...I will leave it at that!)

Though we can't stay local all year, I try to buy things when they are in season (they're much cheaper too). Like not buying fruits and veggies that were ripened on a truck instead of the vine.  So, that means no strawberries in the wintertime, big whoop!  But, did you know that pineapple, mangoes, and papayas are in season right now?!  Fantastic!  It's a great time to try something new! 

And have you ever had an egg fresh from a chicken?  If so, you know what I'm talking about.  My mom recently asked me to describe how they tasted different from a store-bought carton of eggs and the only answer I could give was they tasted like the grass the chicken ate that morning.  I know, sounds gross, but what I am getting at is it tasted like it was from the earth, not a refrigerated truck.  And certainly not like it was shipped from Illinois or Indiana.  I don't have to worry about them being recalled, because I know the very farmer they came from and what the chicken ate that morning.  I know that it saw the sun, socialized with it's neighbor the sheep (we actually saw one riding on a sheep's back) and, even got some exercise!  Can you tell me anything about the chicken who laid the eggs that are sitting in your fridge right now?

I could do a whole post with a Christian perspective of how animal treatment should be taken into consideration when making our food choices, so I will save that for another time!  But after seeing the film, I understand how many people choose to become vegetarians when they learn how animals are treated in this country (before and during slaughter).  When animals are only seen as a product to sell, their worth becomes such that is reflected in their treatment.  I believe that God gave us certain animals (chickens, cow, pigs, etc) for the purpose of consumption, but not with the intention of forgetting where they came from and the gift they provide for our lives.  Respect for the animal means respect for your food, which to me, translates into respect for our own bodies.  By educating ourselves, taking responsibility, and making wiser decisions, we too can enjoy the beautiful, healthy, bountiful fruits of the earth.

I look forward to sharing our CSA experience with all of you and hopefully sharing some excellent recipes too!  Find your local farm online and start supporting local farmers today!  (And rent Food, might just learn something new!)

1 comment:

  1. you should also watch Food Matters! It is on netflix.


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