Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook. It is your guide to enjoying more than 90 different crops grown by community-supported agriculture (CSA) farms across America. To find out more about Mi Ae click on: /blog-author---mi-ae-lipe.html
Photo by Jamie Hooper, Dreamstime.com
Times have changed, of course. With the meteoric rise of Big Food and Big Agriculture starting in the early 20th century, the food scene in America and much of the rest of the world has changed profoundly. Not all of this is a bad thing—crop yields have increased enormously, a wider range of food is now available to more people at lower prices than ever before, and entire global economies have been created as a result.
But havoc on unprecedented scales has also been created, much of it to the detriment of our health and our economy. Multinational food companies specialize in creating and marketing cheap, highly processed, low-nutrition products that are high in sugar, salt, and fat—and reaping billions of dollars from consumers of all ages, who pay the consequences with increased rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, plus the cost of treating them.
Consider this: At least 85 percent of the food in your average supermarket is unhealthy for you. And if you eat this food exclusively for years, what kind of physical and mental suffering might you endure as a result of being not properly nourished? And how many of you reading this post are already experiencing these symptoms?
There’s other issues at stake. American government farm subsidies reward those who grow commodity crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans (often genetically modified) at the expense of smaller (often organic) fruit-and-vegetable farmers, who find it very difficult to survive because of a shortage of land and a market system that financially rewards monoculture on a massive scale.
And billions of gallons of petroleum-based fuel are required to ship foodstuffs around the globe, contributing to global warming and its deleterious effects. For instance, it is estimated that at least 90 percent of the seafood that Americans eat is actually imported from farms in Asia and Europe, whereas the vast majority of our own delectable wild Alaskan salmon and Gulf Coast shrimp paradoxically is sent to Asia—quite the culinary irony.
As consumers, we can and should do something about this. Our most powerful tools are our pocketbooks and personal will.
- Make an effort to shop local and organic. Support your local community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Think twice before buying those melons shipped in from Chile in the dead of winter. Shop at farmers markets when possible. Get to know your local farmers and their growing practices. Keeping your dollars in the local food system helps everyone involved in that system. And buying organic or sustainably farmed food raised or grown without inputs from harmful pesticides and commercial fertilizers means you support a healthier planet and environment.
[Photo by Ilumus Photography, Adobe Stock]
Dine out at restaurants that source their ingredients from local farms and producers. Let these places know that you appreciate and support their food policies.
- Avoid making processed food your primary diet. The vast majority of the food items in a typical American supermarket contain refined grains, sugars, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, additives, and artificial colorings, with harmful or unknown long-term health effects. While it doesn’t mean that you can never again eat a Snickers bar or a tin of Spam, remember that your body is your temple—why regularly feed it questionable food?
- Grow your own. If it is feasible, try raising some of your fruits and vegetables yourself, either in your backyard or in a community garden.
Post 1 Recipe
Smothered Greens with Turkey
Traditionally, pork fatback would be used in this savory, slightly spicy dish, which uses a variety of winter greens like kale and collards. If you’d like to experience it, try the fatback—at least once! For a version that is more healthful, use the smoked turkey—it will flavor the dish beautifully as well.
3 cups water
¼ pound skinless smoked turkey breast, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, such as jalapeño or serrano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1 scallion (green onion), chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup chopped onion
2 pounds greens (mustard, turnip, collard, kale, or a mixture)
- Wash the greens thoroughly, remove the stems, and tear or cut the leaves into bite-size pieces.
- Place all of the ingredients except the greens into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add the greens to the pot.
- Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, partially covered, or until the greens are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
— Recipe by www.Health.gov, from Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook