We’ve recently added a cookbook to our line of offerings: The Kale Effect! Co-written by one of our own Klesick customers, Christina Bandaragoda, this delightful cookbook will have you dishing up your dark leafy greens in some of the tastiest recipes ever! Our article this week is an excerpt from the cookbook. Enjoy!
Every Thursday afternoon the Klesick Family Farm delivery truck pulls up to my house with my weekly Box of Good – a box full of fruits and vegetables that are good for my family, good for my local economy and good for the earth. Thursday has become my favorite day of the week, my sigh of relief, a moment in time when my hope in the future is regularly renewed.
How can a box of fruit and vegetables have this effect? The tangible benefits are obvious. The time I save shopping I now spend with my family. The money I used to spend on fuel driving to the store is now allocated to buying food. The intangible benefits are less obvious and depend on my perception, attitude and meaning I attribute to how these fruits and vegetables made their way to my kitchen. I trust my local businessman. Based on my experience, I know that the produce will be of good quality, fresh, and free from toxic or harmful chemicals. As my family struggles with various allergies and food intolerances, I place a high value on toxin-free food. Why add more unknowns to the chemical cocktail we encounter in our modern industrialized lifestyle?
I also consider the challenge of being introduced to new kinds of foods an intangible benefit. I know that if a vegetable I have never eaten before arrives in my box, I can find a delicious way to prepare it. I also believe that my Box of Good has the benefit of preserving open space.
Knowing that a portion of my grocery budget contributes to maintaining working farms in my county is valuable. I used to think of local farmers as guardians and stewards of our landscapes, soils and water. As each Thursday rolls around I become increasingly aware that it is us, the customers, who are guardians and stewards with each food purchase we make. Those with economic access to sustainably grown food should take this responsibility seriously.
Our buying habits determine the future of the farms in our surrounding communities as well as the health of our environment. The cultural perception that as a society we value nature, open space, clean air and water is an idea that has not been fully realized. This cloudy vision of a sustainable future can become a clear reality one grocery bill at a time.
Christina is from Michigan, received her bachelors degree at Wheaton College, and later attended Utah State University where she received her masters and doctoral degrees in Civil Engineering. She now works as a hydrologist and environmental consultant.