5 Reasons to Get Your Fruit & Veggies Fresh From a CSA

join a csaIf you haven't heard the calls of, "Eat local! Eat organic!" you haven't been listening, and you're probably wondering what a CSA even is. But as more and more people become aware of how their food is processed and where it comes from, we've all been kind of freaking out. Going back to the land is appealing, even if you live right in the middle of the concrete jungle.

With this growth in local food popularity has come the rise of the CSA, or community supported agriculture program. While this concept has been around a long time (roadside fruit stand, anyone?), today's CSA comes straight to your door. It's literally a farm-to-table journey as your local farms gather up their weekly bounty and bring it to your neighborhood. Some farms set up a drop-off location and you swing by with a box, bag, or your arms and load up. Others drop a box right off on your porch, and you have fresh produce to enjoy all week long.

But is this kind of newfangled grocery shopping right for you?

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As a CSA member myself, I obviously believe there are a zillion pros to making a commitment to partner with a local farm. But I'll start with five great reasons, just to get you excited about the idea of enjoying delicious fruits and vegetables fresh from the land.

1. You'll Eat Healthier

If you're feeling like you need to bring in more fruits and vegetables into your life but don't know where to start, a CSA will force you to face your kale. The beauty of getting a huge load of veggies you might not know anything about is that your palate will expand. Most CSAs offer recipes for their more obscure foods, so you're not totally in the dark about what to do with that rutabaga.

2. You'll Spend Less on Organic

Most CSA programs are local and organic. Instead of spending your "whole paycheck," buying into a local farm will save you a ton of money on these healthier options.

3. You'll Be Safer

Knowing exactly where that bushel of carrots came from will give you peace of mind when the listeria outbreaks happen. Eating fresh from the earth and skipping the processing plant is a much safer way to consume your food, and you're less likely to be at risk for food-borne illness.

4. You're Helping the Environment

No more investing in overseas produce. Once you learn how to love eating with the seasons, you'll never spend too much money on food that has traveled by plane, train, and automobile. Good for you, and great for our dwindling fossil fuels.

5. Your Perspective Will Change

Once you have a relationship with a farm, and potentially a real live farmer, you'll have a whole new appreciation for what you put into your body. The more you understand about food, and where it comes from, the more aware you'll be of the importance of eating well. You may never go back into a traditional grocery store again.

Are you ready? Check this site to find a CSA near you, or ask your neighbor. You never know who's hoarding the local butter lettuce.

Would you join a CSA?

 

Image via krossbow/Flickr

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