It Takes A Lot of Planning To Eat Organic or Local Food

Whole Foods Maryland's Pick Week 2
Some chard from last summer's CSA bag
This weekend the DC metro was expecting snow. Yet here I am researching local CSAs, aka community supported agriculture. Last summer, I was lucky enough to participate in my local Whole Foods' inaguaral Maryland's Best program. It was a good way to dip my toes into eating organically and locally on a regular basis. I have no idea if Whole Foods will offer the program again, but I'm seriously thinking about joining a CSA.

In the past few years, I've been slowly making changes in how our family eats. We avoid high fructose corn syrup (except for weakness for some candies). We buy milk without hormones like rBST or rBGH. We buy organic fruit sometimes. We stock up if our Whole Foods is having a great sale, like they did on organic blueberries last summer. I still have some in the freezer. Hmmm, maybe it's time to make some blueberry scones.

Luckily, I can purchase organics thanks to coupons or good sales. Unfortunately, there aren't coupons for produce. That's why I'm researching my CSA options on a semi-cold winter weekend. It's hard to think that I need to plan now, in February for food I won't see until May. It's also hard for us to shell out such a large sum all at once. It's not because I don't want to. I have to re-work our family budget. Some of the farms offer a installment plan, but I'd rather just take care of it up front if I can help it. The Whole Foods Maryland's Best program charged me weekly, which made planning much easier.

See what I mean about planning? If our family joins a CSA, we're taking something out of our budget to pay for it. It's crazy but I always hesitate to make a big purchase because something always comes up. The car needs to visit the mechanic. Or cavities need to be filled.

So I'm crunching numbers and planning. I want to make it work. I want my kids to visit the farm that we join and see where their food grows. I've never lied to them that the meat they eat come from cows, pigs, chicken or fish. The Vietnamese language doesn't call animals by a different name once they become food, unlike English. The first time I told Sophia that her yummy steak came from a cow, my husband winced. It's better that she understands now. I try to teach her to respect her food. To only take what she will eat because so much work has gone into her food. From the plants to the animals to the farmer to me, the cook.

I think she's getting it. While everything we eat might not be local, all-natural or organic, we're taking baby steps to each healthier, more nutritious food. We still order pizza and Chinese takeout. Some nights I just don't feel like cooking. But it's all baby steps.

Do you eat organic or local? Are you joining a CSA this year?

This post was inspired by  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Could you live an entire year eating locally or the food from your garden? Barbara Kingsolver transplanted her family from the deserts of Arizona to the mountains of Virginia for this very endeavor. Join From Left to Write on February 21 as we discuss Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
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