01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: Veg Out: Community Supported Agriculture and You

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Veg Out: Community Supported Agriculture and You

Community Supported Agriculture boxes (CSA) are gaining popularity nationwide.  More people are asking where their food is coming from and want a better deal on it.  I've been subscribing to the Fresh Bag at a local cooperative market on the East Side of Columbus since May and it's made a great impact on my wallet and vegetable consumption.  

I've gotten great stuff weekly.  I've gotten weird stuff weekly (alright, I'm not southern and do not like okra).  This is an opportunity to make friends with your coworkers and pawn offending vegetables off on them or find healthy recipes from sites like Cooking Light.  

According to Local Harvest here are some benefits of CSAs:

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow
happiness = my weekly csa box!
  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they've never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

Advantages for consumers:
It's a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs, and in some areas of the country there is more demand than there are CSA farms to fill it. The government does not track CSAs, so there is no official count of how many CSAs there are in the U.S.. LocalHarvest has the most comprehensive directory of CSA farms, with over 4,000 listed in our grassroots database.

Cooking Away My CSAIt's a propitious problem and an unexpected question asked by many members of Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Faced with all the fresh, local (and sometimes unfamiliar and dauntingly copious) produce of summertime shares, it can be a challenge to figure out how to put it all to creative and delicious use. - See more at: http://simmerandboil.cookinglight.com/2009/07/15/cooking-away-my-csa/#sthash.zl1IspeL.dpuf