Wellness Pathway #224 Know Your Farmer

Who grows your food? Most of us have no idea. The food simply appears, like magic, at the grocery store and we have to trust that it has been grown or raised under safe conditions. Unfortunately, that trust is not always well-founded. Contamination sneaks into the system. In addition, artificial ingredients (including pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, packaging, growth hormones, and genetic modifications) have become the rule rather than the exception.

In response to these and other problems, a movement emerged in Switzerland and Japan during the 1960s called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). That movement came to the United States in the 1980s and is, today, widely available in many areas. The idea is simple: consumers interested in safe, locally grown and raised food join together in an economic partnership with farmers seeking stable markets for their crops and/or livestock.

In other words, it’s a small scale buying club. You sign up for the year, paying a flat fee in order to receive a weekly bag of groceries, during the growing season, of whatever happens to be ripe that week. You get fresh, organic produce while the farmer gets a guaranteed base income. In addition, most CSAs have specialty items available for purchase including eggs and, in some instances, meat.

CSAs are a win-win-win proposition. The consumer wins by getting affordable, high-quality food that is connected to the local growing cycle. It is a delight each week for my wife and I to discover what’s ready to harvest and eat. Surrounded by grocery-store abundance, we lose that natural rhythm. The farmer wins by getting a productive and profitable farm, in good and bad growing years. The farm wins by getting developed to its highest ecologic potentialTo learn more about Community Supportive Agriculture, and to find a farm near you, visit http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa/. It’s a great way to improve your health, support your community, and steward the land all at the same time. If you choose to volunteer at the farm (not a requirement), you can even get an exercise benefit out of the proposition.

Coaching Inquiries: Do you know the name of anyone who grows or raises the food you eat? How could you get more connected to the rhythm of life? How could you eat healthier food?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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