Friday, May 27, 2005

Long Live CSA!

As an environmentalist, one of the things I try to pay attention to is the provenance of the food I eat. In addition to eating lower on the food chain (mostly), my wife and I try to eat as much local, organic produce as we can. The primary reason for this is to reduce the amount of hydrocarbons used to make our meals. To paraphrase James Kunstler, "Do we really need to eat a Ceasar salad that travelled 2000 miles to make it to our plate?" No we don't, but doing otherwise can be difficult. Most supermarkets buy their vegetables and fruits from wholesalers with a variety of domestic and foreign suppliers. Ensuring that the produce you buy isn't from Chile, or Arizona, or Washington can be a challenge.

One answer to this conundrum, atleast for 5 or 6 months out of the year, is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). These are farms that raise their produce to be sold locally. Most CSA farms are organic and most are located within 50-100 miles of the market they serve. Finding these might be difficult but for the existence of this fantastic online resource provided by Local Harvest. It allows you to search for CSA farms by zip code and provides details as to their location, delivery methods, subscription plans, and cost. For any of you interested in buying more local produce and supporting family agriculture in the United States, I strongly recommend this site.