Don’t Panic! It’s Organic…

It’s an overused phrase and I’m finding it to be less and less true.  Part of my food revelation is that “organic” is a very loose term and can hide all manner of sins.  If we just go by the USDA definition there can still be inexcusable destruction of land, use of resources, and general unsustainability.  It used to be that the organic label meant you could charge more, but now it is becoming mainstream.  The organic offerings in my local Vons (Safeway) have easily increased tenfold in the last five years.  It used to be a few vegetables, maybe some specialty items.  Now you can find an organic equivalent of almost every single food product.  I think it is fantastic progress but I personally want to go further. 

This month I’ll be starting up the vegetable CSA (community supported agriculture, and that’s the last time I remind you!), and maybe the meat one as well.  I’ll be chronicling the price, quality, and quantity here so I can make a fair judgment about the value of the endeavor.  Logically, it should be as cheap or cheaper than the grocery store, since I am eliminating middlemen, extra transportation, storage, and overhead.  But that’s logic, which goes out the window when you realize the average American consumes more soda than water.

I’m hoping to end the month with a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of CSA.  I’ll be honest about the dollar amounts and the disappointments and will try to snap lots of pictures of all the beautiful food we’re getting and making.  I am sure I’ll be trying vegetables I’ve never eaten, or never thought I’d eat.  Some, like parsnips, have been sleeper hits in our household.  Others, like zucchini, are on the barf list.  Maybe I’ll finally learn what a rutabaga is and how it is prepared.

If I lived on Long Island I’d get all my vegetables from The Golden Earthworm Farm.  For a reminder what fresh produce is supposed to look like, check out their beautiful gallery.  My cousin is married to the owner of the farm and if any readers are out in that area, check them out.  On their blog are pictures of the recent sweet potato harvest, which puts me in mind of a whipped sweet potato recipe I made with butter, brown sugar, and sherry.  THAT is good food.

I’ll leave you with an interesting fact and a picture for the day.  Fact:  today’s date is a mathematical equation  2×5=10.  And here’s a picture of the firewood I stacked all by myself, while sick.  At night.  So far it has not collapsed on a family member or local child, but give it time. It’s an Uncle F$#k-Up project, what could go wrong?

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Writer, architect, father, husband.

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