I’ve decided to find out the answer to the question: Is a CSA box worth it? I’ve had my eye on a few of these community-supported agriculture programs for a while now. Though it wouldn’t have fit in with my keto dieting because many of the foods would have thrown off my macronutrient balance, I’m changing directions now. I feel that this is my opportunity to support local farms and boost the nutrition in my meals.
Is a CSA Box Worth It?
I’ve wondered for a while if a CSA box is worth it. On the whole, even though they’re ultra local, I haven’t found them to be all that cheap when compared to the prices at the grocery store. Still, my hope is that I will be able to save money – or at least spend the same amount that I usually would – by focusing on eating these local foods first. This means far fewer trips to the grocery store and therefore a lot less impulse buying.
While farmers in my area will benefit from the money I spend directly on their CSA box produce, I’ll benefit from the higher nutrition from food that hasn’t had to travel around the world to get to me, and from the reduced carbon footprint. I’m also under the impression that the food will taste a good deal better, so I’m interested to see if the local tomatoes I’ll be eating will be tastier than the ones I usually get from the grocery store.
Eating What’s in Season
I have a few friends who are getting into the habit of paying attention to what is in season and focusing on eating that the most. They talk about feeling more in touch with their food and with nature as a whole. It’s true, it’s inconvenient not to be able to eat strawberries all year long, but when they do have them, they savor them. That’s especially true because they’re buying local ones that supposedly taste better than then ones shipped from a distance.
There’s something very appealing about that thought. That’s one of the things I’m hoping to get from my CSA box and will help to tell me if it’s worth it. I’ll be seeing and eating the foods from my area and that are in season. I can honestly say that I don’t know specifically what is most commonly grown in my area, and other than a few foods I’ve grow in my own garden, I don’t know specifically when the fruits and veggies I eat are in season.
On that note, I am hoping to start learning to do preserves and to use my freezer more. That way, when I want to enjoy the same foods off-season, I’ll still be eating local produce, and it will still feel special.
Will a CSA Box Bring Me Closer to My Community?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a feeling of disconnect. Many of us have, I’m sure. So, one of the factors I’m also hoping will make my CSA box worth it will be the feeling that I am a part of a community, and I am participating in it. Every item in my weekly order will come from someone who doesn’t live too far from me. It will have been grown, tended and harvested and they will depend on its sale for their livelihood.
In return, I will enjoy eating more fresh produce in my diet, will know that my food comes from my corner of the world, and that their work is nourishing me. I like that thought. If I can arrange it, I’m hoping to be able to visit some of the farms where the food is grown. That said, I do understand that these are farms, not tourist attractions, so it may not be possible in every case.
Overall, my decision as to whether a CSA box is worth it will go well beyond the amount I spend to buy it…though that will still be a factor, of course. I’m no made of money 😉