Friday, June 28, 2013

Fruits and Veggies

Years ago I first read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser on a trip to Maui. This sparked my interest and I wanted to learn more about our food system. I began doing research and talking to friends. My sister recommended I look into Michael Pollan books. I read In Defense of Food then Omnivore's Dilemma. With each book I read my knowledge of our corrupt food system broadened. I learned that processed foods lacked nutrition and are ladened with harmful chemicals and preservatives (yuck!). At this time I ate a lot of vegetarian lean cuisine dinners, microwaved in plastic, chock-filled with dozens of unpronounceable ingredients, not to mention the excessive packaging each disposable individually wrapped meal came with. I bought those for the convince, taste and false notion that I was eating 'healthy.' 

I made a decision to be honest with myself and my food choices. After my self education I could no longer be ok with supporting such a corrupt system. Around the same time my coworker told me about this organic vegetable and fruit delivery service called Farm Fresh To You, I signed up online for a weekly box. That was four and a half years ago and we still love the service. Its always exciting to open the box to see what’s inside, its never the same and always a pleasant surprise. In fact I was talking about the produce delivery box with my husband the other day, we realized signing up for that service sparked all of our overall life changes for the better. It took an adjustment period at first, finding time to cook, figuring out what to make with these mysterious new fruits and vegetables and getting in the habit of not wasting this wonderful produce (i.e. letting it go bad in the fridge.) 

We made a deal with each other that we would cancel the box if we wasted any of the produce and it worked! We force ourselves to cook a few times a week and it has benefitted our lives in so many ways. We have become much better cooks, we know how to cook the most obscure veggies available. Out of necessity we've learned about many fruits and veggies that we would have never bought on our own. We eat seasonally, locally and organically while supporting our local farmers. Eating seasonally has also made us more in-tune with our surroundings, we get so much excitement when it's finally heirloom tomato season for example or how the first shipment of bing cherries always signifies the beginning of summer for us. These are life's simple pleasures, eating seasonally helps you appreciate what you have when you have it.

{this is what they sent us last week plus a bunch of parsley}

A few things we love about Farm Fresh To You is the fact they deliver right to your doorstep weekly. They also pick up and reuse the boxes that the produce is delivered in. Since those first shipments our lives have changed a bit, we now get the ‘Capay box’ all the produce in that box is from one farm in Capay Valley. We request no plastic in our box because by default they have a plastic liner. We also get farm fresh organic cage free eggs from the farm in Capay, we place the empty egg carton in the empty cardboard box to be collected for reuse as well. The biggest negatives about our FFTY are the excessive use of twist ties. I used to throw them in the trash which made up most of our trash in the kitchen but now I save them in a jar I’m either going to use them again or return them back to the farm in the mail. I still haven’t decided. Also, on occasion they’ll mess up and send us some plastic, every time they do I call and threaten to cancel. I think they’ve gotten the message =) When that does happen I save the plastic and reuse it.  I still think going to the Farmers Market is the best way to get fresh, local seasonal produce but unfortunately it doesn't fit in to our weekly schedules so this veggie delivery service is the next best thing.