Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – Eating Healthy

Community Supported Agriculture helps the small farmer. The small farmer is usually a family affair who may not be able to afford the pricey organic labeling certification but still uses pesticide-free farming methods.

Organic may not be what it used to be as it’s been dumbed down by the government to accommodate big business’ like Wal-Mart and Dole to buy in. Oddly enough, the Organic Trade Association moved to allow synthetic substances in organic foods if no organic substitute was commercially available. Behind closed doors, without a single debate and despite an outpouring of more than 325,000 consumer letters and e-mails, the Organic Foods Production Act was amended in November 2005.

How it will be implemented and who will make those decisions has yet to be determined, but it’s a blow to farmers and advocates — which is another reason to buy locally and support a CSA.

With community supported agriculture, consumers get to know the local farmers. If there is ever a salmonella outbreak, there’s no maze of distribution. There’s just the farmer and you; end of puzzle. Most CSAs invite the consumer/supporter to come to the farm for volunteer day and see exactly what goes on and to get down and dirty planting fava beans.

That used to be the way it was and it’s a good thing to get back to. Buying locally-grown and seasonal produce means that your plums don’t come from Peru and you get back to basics with the ripest and most delicious produce possible.

Here’s the story of a local CSA farmer just south of Tucson, Ariz., and their struggle to produce.

Do you participate in a CSA? Please share your experiences here. Thank you.

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