I’ve been looking into CSA’s for the summer and while I love the idea of supporting the local community and sustainable agriculture, I’m not sure that its a good decision for this year. (CSA=Community Supported Agriculture; essentially you ‘loan’ money to a farm and are repaid with a share of the products they create for a set amount of time). I suppose the reasons for ‘why not’ come up pretty quickly: it tends to be relatively expensive, you don’t know what you’re going to get and, for me at least, I need the bulk of my produce before the end of August since my beau will stop eating at home at that point in time. Too bad the bulk tends to come in September and October. That is really the deciding factor.
Here’s the thing, though, I am concerned about where my food comes from and how it was produced. To help keep track of things a little bit, the EPA publishes a list (below) of the “Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen” on an annual basis to keep people informed on which crops had the highest percentage of chemicals applied to them over the course of the past year. Now, from what I’ve read, this does not necessarily correlate to foods with the most harmful pesticides used, simply the ones with the most pesticide residue (not sure if its by volume or weight) left on the food when its harvested. Its also interesting to consider that organic produce is allowed to use pesticides – they just can’t be synthetic. Its convoluted to say the least.
For myself, I think I’ll be stick to growing a few easy products in my home garden (here, and here) and picking and choosing what I purchase at the market based on what I feel is right for myself, my budget and a well rounded diet.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Honeydew Melon