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What is a CSA and Why It May Be the Best Food Choice You Ever Make

You may have heard the acronym C-S-A spoken at farmer’s markets or praised by your foodie friends, and now you’re wondering what all the hype is about. Well, look no further! We want to share with you about what CSAs are and why they might be the best decision you ever make. 

 

Defining CSAs 

CSA stands for “community-supported agriculture”, which perfectly illustrates what they are all about! CSAs are programfor customers to participate in as a way to directly support a farmer or group of farmers in your community. In its basic form, CSA customers pay farmers a lump sum of money before the farming season and in exchange they receive boxes of fresh, local food throughout the summer. Farmers give customers a monetary value for what each box is worth as well as a general idea of what food they should expect in their box. There usually is room for flexibility in terms of what specifically each box will include. 

 

Why CSAs are important 

There are so many positive things about CSAs, but we will try to narrow it down to some key points… 

 

For farmers: The pay-first format of CSAs is incredibly valuable for farmers because it provides them with a strong source of income when their expenses are at their highest. By having customers pay upfront, farmers have the money they need to buy seeds and other needed resources at the beginning of their season. In addition, the flexibility of what CSA boxes will include provides some insurance for farmers if a particular crop were to not be successful. 

For the environment: CSA models are all about connecting local community to local farmers. As such, when you participate in a CSA program, the distance your food travels gets a lot smaller! This means your food creates less greenhouse gas emissions from transportation which is a big win. On a different note, CSAs are also great for the environment because they often depend on farms with diverse crops. Farms with crop diversity is good for the planet because it usually creates healthy soil, and healthy soil is essential for life. 

For YOU: As our food system continues to globalize, our understanding of food’s impact on our bodies, our farmers, and our planet has become increasingly more confusing and complex. Just look at the map of food brands below if you want an idea of how complex our food system has become! One easy solution if you want to better understand your food’s impact, is to know the people that grow your food. With a CSA program, your ability to connect with farmers is so easy! Don’t be afraid to reach out to them! 

 

How can you help 

Now that you know what CSAs are all about, why not try them out? At SPUD, we are offering CSA boxes and you can subscribe today. Click the button below to get all the details you need!  

 


Michelle Austin

Michelle is SPUD's Sustainability Lead. She believes a sustainable food system is the key to creating a environmentally-friendly and just world. You can often find her in the mountains biking, hiking or skiing!

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