Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We are what we eat

   A blog post published by other blogger saying was to collaborate with a CSA farm, made me first wonder: "CSA?, What's CSA?, What does it mean?. After researching a bit in the internet I recalled a magazine I saw last year about luxory travels around the world. A report called my attention, it was about farms in the USA growing organic vegetables and getting fresh organic milk and eggs from the animals they care for. A picture was really remarkable: a long table with an elegant table cloth, nice dishes and cups stood just in the middle of the crops, as the one you could find at the best restaurant. I thought it was fascinating people went to the country to eat a delicious meal cooked with the own vegetables they had just picked up. It would be wonderful there was something like that here in Spain, I said to myself.

   According to the Wikipedia: A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA’s focus is usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, sometimes dairy products and meat. The term CSA is mostly used in the USA, but a variety of similar production and economic sub-systems are in use worldwide.

   One of the many advantages are they usually use organic or biodynamic farming methods, and CSA members are also more actively involved in the growing and distribution process, through shared newsletters and recipes, farm visits, farm work-days, advance purchases of shares, and picking up their shares.

   In Spain, the name used por something very similar to CSA is Cooperativas de consumo ecológico: members of the association from a same district or city go personally to a local or little shop where they pick up and pay for the stuff they had previously ordered to the farmers. In Spain, the first ecologic cooperative was created in Cataluña in 1993, nowadays there are more than forty in the same region. Delivery of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme is beginning to come into fashion in Cataluña too, many high standing restaurants choose this option to cook expensive dishes where original taste is essential.

   I am really concerned about health in food, we are what we eat as once someone said. However, most fruit and vegetables we buy for our daily consume are full of pesticides and other products dangerous for our health. I would like one day when we went to the supermarket, we hadn't to wonder: is that ecological?, are those organic vegetables?, are those free-range eggs?

   The current situation in Spain is the following: the spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food promotes shy campaigns inviting us to consume organic products, which you can find only in small amounts in big commercial centers and at high price. Most of people tries to survive by buying store brand products (Private Label Manufacturers), which are not precisely ecological.

   How the situation should be: the idea of store brands (marcas blancas) is not bad, provided you could find a totally ecological store brand; the second thing is you could go to any district market and buy easily fresh organic vegs and fruit, without having to subscribe to any cooperative.

   Anyway, I encourage everybody who has a terrace or balcony, though you live in an urban context, to grow your own vegetables such as tomatoes, green-peppers, onions, aromatic plants... I haven't had the chance to do it yet, but according to what people who has experimented it say it's worth a lot and is pretty satisfying to eat something you have seen grew, no chemical addings, healthy and tasty. A tomato tastes to tomato and a green-pepper to green-pepper and not to plastic. Fortunately the world of urban horticulture has come into fashion in cities like Barcelona.

   We as consumers should demand health and quality on what we eat. I don't want to think about a world where the poor eat unhealthy because it's cheap and the rich eat apparently healthy beacause it's expensive. I hope healthy food is real in our global world at convenient price for everybody soon.


The Blogger Around said...

Today I've seen a TV program: Tierra y Mar (on Canal Sur Andalucía). It's been so fantastic and exciting to see how bread is made in a stone oven with wood from the local trees. He visto cómo en un pequeño pueblo de Cádiz, en el campo de Gibraltar todavía se muele el trigo como antiguamente y se hace un pan con fundamento, completamente natural horneado con leña en un horno de piedra de los que ya no quedan. Tambíen he visto cómo daban de comer a las gallinas que correteaban en busca del grano perdido en un paraje natural de ensueño, y también he visto los higos florecientes en su higuera. Qué maravilla, para qué tanto progreso si dejamos atrás lo que realmente nos da vida...
I'll try to put a link to today's program next if it's possible.

The Blogger Around said...

This is the link to see the program of that day. I'm not able to watch it because of the flash player. I hope you can and enjoy it!

Productos Ecologicos said...

Ese es el verdadero progreso, comer de forma natural y sana.

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