Buying Food From CSAs
Food from CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture)
Community Supported Agriculture (more commonly known as CSAs or farm shares) provides a direct connection between local farmers and consumers. Farms that participate in CSAs sell shares of the produce, meat and dairy that they produce. In exchange for purchasing a farm share, consumers receive regular deliveries of food straight from the farm.
Not only does this eliminate the middlemen and help support local farmers, it also provides fresh, sustainable food to consumers. By bypassing the global food distribution process, farm share participants benefit from getting food that hasn’t spent weeks in transit from farm to shelf. In practical terms, that means consumers have more flexibility in planning their meals because their food stays fresh longer.
Additionally, since food from CSAs travels a far shorter distance than that which arrives in supermarkets, less greenhouse gases are emitted and fewer fossil fuels are consumed in the transportation process.
But these are not the only benefits of purchasing from farm shares. Continue reading
Good news for local farmers and locavores–even Appalachian hillfolk are willing to pay for fresh, local food.
Appalachia: The Cradle of Sustainable Agriculture?
According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the “Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has released estimates that Western North Carolina consumers bought $62 million worth of local food in 2010. That’s a four-fold increase since ASAP started its “Appalachian Grown” certification and branding program in 2007.”
While this exceeds the typical trend towards local foods in most areas, it is likely indicative of the general direction that our national food consumption is taking. Both organic and local food sales have seen increases nationwide; in fact, local food is predicted to reach $7 billion in sales this year. So what does this say about the future of the food industry? Continue reading
What is Sustainable Food?
Defining Sustainable Food
Sustainable food is food that is healthy for consumers and produced in an humane, ecologically benign, socially responsible and economically fair way. That’s a wide range of criteria, but true sustainability extends beyond merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While climate change is one of the most visible concerns for proponents of sustainability, there are numerous other concerns that must be considered when advocating for a food system that can sustain us indefinitely. Wage inequity, the unethical treatment of animals and the destruction of the natural resources on which agriculture depends are all pressing issues that need to be addressed.
Everything from maintaining those finite natural resources to efficiently satisfying human needs to improving our communities must be taken into account in a truly “sustainable” model of the food industry. But what do those concerns mean in concrete terms? Continue reading
From: Fresh Air Program, Dated: 8-22-2011
I listen to Fresh Air often, and because I write a lot, I tend to have some kind of interest or stake in just about every program, every conversation, every guest who appears on the show. And if I don’t, because I’ll often end up interviewing people, at the very least — I can get something out of Terry Gross’s interview style. There’s always a lesson or a bit of humor there. And when she sat down with sustainable foods luminary and California restaurateur Alice Waters for a talk, I thought about the audience of this very blog. So here is some information about her and that program.
The Local Food Movement
Local Food: What is Local?
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve heard the term “local food” bandied around a lot lately. Maybe you heard it on the news in a discussion about sustainable agriculture, or in a debate between about whether “local or organic” is better for the environment.
Maybe you saw that episode of Portlandia where Fred and Carrie interrogate their waitress about the origin of the chicken used in the restaurant, eventually asking her to hold their table while they drive 30 miles to the farm its sourced from (and end up joining the polygamist cult that runs it).
Okay, so that’s a little extreme, but there is an increasing popular movement that’s pushing for buying and eating locally grown food. So what exactly does locally grown mean? Continue reading