Have you ever tasted organic or local farm foods? If not, you have yet to experience the truly delicious taste of fruit and vegetables. I had no idea how bland regular store produce was, until I started buying organic. Similarly, I was amazed by the vibrant appearance of local farm foods and the taste of newly picked avocados. However, taste is only one of many incentives to keep it local. Below, I will provide more reasons as well as buying options.
My mom introduced me to farm food when she took me to Eastern Market in Detroit. Meeting and establishing relationships with your food’s producer is an amicably rewarding experience that I highly recommend, if you have the option. Eastern Market is a large open air venue where folks love to hang out. Most people spend 2-4 hours exploring the variety of fresh produce, jams, pastries, dairy, breads, fish, meat and plants. In addition to the social advantages, the cost savings turned this venture into a weekly routine .
My New York farmer’s market experience has not been as compelling. Still, movies like Food Fight and Food Inc, which expose industrial agriculture’s mistreatment of farmers and our food, motivated me to research other ways to support local farms. I learned about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). CSAs offer opportunities to buy seasonal crop shares that are delivered to a central location for pick-up. There is abundance of food, which is a great option for families or people who eat everything, but not for a selective eater like me.
I also discovered that farms will ship food via the post office. Technically it is not local; however, it’s still a way to support small farms. I often use this option for organic avocados. They have a consistency and taste far superior to organic store avocados, which have obviously been refrigerated too early.
Eventually, I found Rustic Roots Delivery. It is a New York business run by Jeff Moore (pictured above) and his wife Emer Lloyd Moore. They visit local organic farms a few times a week. Then they deliver the food, within 24-48 hours from the moment it is picked, to Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan and Queens. Besides delivering directly to your door, what distinguishes Rustic Roots from CSAs is their ordering flexibility.
In addition to shares, they offer fruit and vegetable baskets and juicing baskets. Beyond produce, they offer local honey, organic dairy, fish and organic meat. Each week, before orders are placed, Emer emails a list of available food items. After the delivery, she sends a follow-up email with recipes featuring the week’s food items. If you live in New York and want a more affordable and convenient option for organic food, Rustic Roots might be your solution. For more info, visit http://rusticrootsdelivery.com/.
Top 5 Reasons To Support Local or Small Farms
1. Local Food tastes better. Crops are picked at their peak, unlike commercial farms foods which are picked before they are mature and then ripened with ehtylene gas.
2. Local foods are healthier. Contrary to store food, which sits on shelves, they are usually sold within 24 hours of harvest. They still carry the essential energy of the sun. Plus, they retain the nutritional value that nutritionists believe depreciates over time.
3. Buying local reduces carbon footprint, since there is less gas involved in the transport of the food.
4. When you buy from farms, you are supporting local families and communities.
5. You will help to restore control of our food to the people versus corporations.
Resources For Supporting Farms In Your Area
1. Visit localharvest.com to find out about local CSAs or to order from their online store.
2. Visit http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/ to look for a farmer’s market in your area.
4. If you Google farmer’s market and your state, you will find an online resource for your state.
5. Farm food delivery services are popping up for every state. Here’s an option for residents outside of New York: http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/