Eating local – CSA by choice?

I went to a farmers market event last night and I left with a flyer that offers reasons to support farmers markets. Below are the excerpts that I thought were important and wanted to share.

1. Taste real flavors – fruits and vegetables provided are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen in the field and brought directly to you – no long distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. Fresh from the farm.
2. Enjoy the season – the market helps you reconnect with the cycles of nature in the region.
3. Support local family farmers and not big business.
4. Protect the environment – Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes greatly to pollution and creates excess trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and grown using methods that minimize the impact of the earth.
5. Nourish yourself – much of the food found in grocery stores is highly processed. The fresh produce you do find is often grown using pesticides, hormones, anitbiotics, and genetic modificiation. In many cases it has been irradiated, waxed or gassed in transit.
6. Discover variety – red carrots, heirloom tomatoes, white peaches…

My CSA box is going to end soon, with the season. I’m thinking about switching to another CSA provider for the winter but conflicted. The new CSA box, allows you to choose which fruits and vegetables you want.

When we get a box of local produce from the farmer, I just have to deal with what’s inside. I can’t say it’s really diversified my palate. I did learn how to eat beets, the weird monster vegetable that is part of the celery family, I ate lots of kale, but I feel a lot of veggies went to waste because I couldn’t eat them fast enough. Last night for a snack, I ate a heirloom tomato with salt. It was amazing.

There were many types of vegetables and fruit I wouldn’t have bought on my own. The kiwis were a great addition. I wasn’t a huge fan of cantaloupe. And, the carrots, they were great in March, but now, I really don’t like carrots. I wish they would stop sending them.

Should I switch CSA’s to a CSA provider where I can select what I want to eat every week? Nothing would go to waste because I’d receive only what I want to eat, but then you loose out on the eating new things.

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