18 November 2016

Dear Everybody Who is Obsessed With Blue Apron, Green Chef, Hello Fresh, and The Like

I get it, okay. I know we need convenience in our lives. I know we're all busy - I'm right there with you. I work full time, I volunteer, I have kids, a spouse, dogs - plenty of demands. You and me both, okay? We like getting everything delivered to our doors. Amazon Prime, Bark Box, Honest Company - it all just shows up on our door step and we never even have to leave the house or shop in public or anything! Amazing. But let's step back a minute and talk about what we're getting when we make our food decisions and what our community is getting as a result. 

First let's talk about freshness - I'm guessing you are really keen on fresh ingredients because that is something that these companies tout. Fresh and organic ingredients. I also love fresh and organic ingredients. But let me suggest to you that the freshest ingredients you can get are the ones that are grown very close by and aren't packaged and well travelled. Try shopping the farmers market or the many grocery stores that sell local produce and get something fresh and organic there. It will be fresher than something that's been shipped to you and it won't come with food miles or extra packaging. It will not have travelled a long journey from the farm to the distribution center to the packaging facility to the next distribution center, etc. etc. etc. There is a lot of energy input for a journey like that so your delivery comes with kind of an outsized carbon footprint. Not unlike when I was a teenager and my feet grew faster than the rest of me: normal sized kid - GIANT feet! Meal delivery services mean a normal sized stash of ingredients - HUGE carbon footprint! 

Each time we buy food - and we buy food pretty often, don't we? Three meals a day, snacks, you, me, our families - lots of mouths to feed and lots of meals to make. Each time we buy food we are supporting someone. Think about who you support. A local, sustainable farmer? Or a large corporation? Or a company that supports organic farmers? There are a lot of decisions to make and we make them everyday. Sometimes we need to make decisions based on convenience. But whenever we can, let's make decisions that support our community.

Please join me in looking for ways to support local, organic, hard working, small farmers in our region when you make at least some of your food decisions. Your food will be fresher and your money will stay in Kansas City. By the way - you know about the local multiplier effect, right? For every $1 you spend at a national chain, only 15 cents is invested locally; but for every $1 you spend locally, 45 cents gets reinvested locally! Think about how much better our home town would be if each of us chose to spend just a few more of our dollars supporting local farmers. 

Thanks for your time!

PS: IF you want to join a Community Supported Agriculture program, call me - helping people find the right CSA is one of my favorite past times!

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