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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 11,033
2/17/11 1:10 P

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That sounds really good Kim. :)

Thanks for explaining what CSA is. Up here in my community they are working on setting something up similar to that. Our farmer's market is okay but nothing to get all pumped on. Last year the Mennonite ladies brought their baking and didn't take long for it to be affected by the hot sun. They should have stayed in the CO-OP mall because it was air conditioned. They didn't have any protection over the baking, the pies were literally melting. There is stuff sold there, like art, too. See what happens this year.



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SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 SparkPoints: (53,217)
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2/17/11 9:33 A

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A church down the street from me will have members of the congregation or the area bring in veggies they grow in their backyard. They set aside a few hours on a Sat morning during the late summer and give them away for free. I have never made it down there as I am usually still in bed at the time ( I work evenings and go to bed late and sleep in). But we do have the farmers market downtown during the spring and summer, which usually has pretty good deals.

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LEFTOVERS4LUNCH's Photo LEFTOVERS4LUNCH SparkPoints: (11,834)
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2/16/11 11:52 P

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CSA = Community Supported Agriculture

You basically buy a share of the portion of the produce of a farm for the growing season. To find out if you have any locally, go to localharvest.org. Not sure if it covers Canada or not though.


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 11,033
2/16/11 9:49 P

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What is CSA?

I found the article interesting. Up here in Canada year or two ago, CBC Radio and several groups did a very long research project on the cost of eating healthy. It was a different perspective, as the focus was on eating at the level of poverty and working poor. It was found - not surprising - that rural communities struggle the most with this as there is less selection. Contrary to hype, not all rural communities have open farmer markets and ability to purchase from the farm or down on the docks. I remember listening to one of the interviews where they followed a few different families on a grocery shopping day. The bottom line was trying to make meals stretch using strictly healthy foods was too expensive. Fresh produce wasn't an option, frozen when it was on sale, otherwise it tended to be lots of canned goods and pastas. In my community during the summer, the agency I work for has a program. The special needs adults work for and run a green house and outdoor garden. Over 50% goes to the local food bank and the rest is sold at the farmer's market. Unfortunately they priced themselves too high last year, so I hope the manager rethinks her price list as there was lots of produce left at the end of the season - it went to the food bank. (so wasn't wasted) Food banks as a rule do not provide fresh or frozen foods because of storage issues. So it is wonderful as the produce goes down the night before the bank opens, so it is nice and crispy for those coming in the next day. Here and further north, fruit and veggies are gold over the winter. I remember paying more than I care to say for one small container of fresh strawberries when they finally made it north and standing in line to do it. The other issue for me is the crazy cost of anything marked "organic." Like it was mentioned here, many go for frozen, many still can and freeze and in my work, we teach families how to create healthy meals out of zero dollars. The thing is though, fresh fruit and vegetables are often not in the picture, as it simply doesn't stretch enough to make it feasible. Usually we use frozen.

Put it this way, right now greens are up to $5. It'll last a single person 2 days. Bananas are still low at 75cents per pound but peppers are up to $3 each and saw some even up to $5. I don't eat apples or citrus, so can't comment on those. We have 2 grocery stores, both are relatively the same costs and the one has the better service, so I tend to stick to the Co-op.

Still the article was interesting that those with money were not eating healthy, so it really does show that in some cases, it doesn't matter the costs, some folks will still choose unhealthy. Even more interesting for me as I did all I could when I lived poor to eat healthy, I still do focus on that and I know many who live poor who do their very best to eat healthy and would love to have money to make it a bit easier.

Thanks for sharing the article.





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DENISEFULLER's Photo DENISEFULLER SparkPoints: (22,682)
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2/16/11 2:25 P

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We were in a CSA for a year. My husband and I shared half a share with my son and daughter-in-law and it was still more than we could possibly eat. One benefit of it was that we tried all sorts of things we never would have thought to try before and have become a little more adventuresome at the store now that we're back to getting our fruits and veggies there. I try to buy things in season, and as much as possible locally grown, but I am also branching out into the world of frozen fruits. I have been making a bigger deal of watching sales at my grocery store as well. Even when we were afraid we were going to lose our house and were looking into declaring bankruptcy, we still ate really well. I love fruits and veggies!

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LEFTOVERS4LUNCH's Photo LEFTOVERS4LUNCH SparkPoints: (11,834)
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2/16/11 1:58 P

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We buy lots of produce, it has never been an issue for us. I just buy stuff that is on sale, or get frozen produce which has just as good nutritionals and is often cheaper than fresh. We are also doing a CSA which works out to be $25 per week for basically all the veggies we can eat. I guess fresh fruits and veggies are a priority for us. It's cheaper than meat and processed foods in my opinion. And more filling.


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SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 SparkPoints: (53,217)
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2/16/11 1:37 P

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I've shopped at Aldi's, but not lately. I never was impressed by their quality of veggies and fruit. I used to by the canned veggies for my dogs for "filler" in their dry food, because it was cheap.

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BELTONWALKER67's Photo BELTONWALKER67 SparkPoints: (119,709)
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2/16/11 1:15 P

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Great Article! emoticon I love fresh fruits and veggies but only buy them when I feel the price is right. I have found that Aldi Grocery (not sure how wide spread that store is) has great produce at a price I can afford. I have found lately that the quality of the produce is rather poor at our Walmart store, but that is probably due to the brutal winter weather we have experienced this year.

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A_BETTER_BUNNE's Photo A_BETTER_BUNNE Posts: 56
2/16/11 12:23 P

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Thank you for posting some useful information. Fresh veggies and fruit are preferred in our home but they have become cost prohibited of late! Like so many other households, ours has had to compromise out of necessity. We definitely eat less fresh veggies and fruit. We now eat more frozen veggies which when purchased on sale are cheaper per pound. For the most part we buy only what is on sale and always utilize in-store coupons to maximize our fresh produce purchases.

The fact that Wal Mart feels the pinch is good news for we consumers! They oft-times set trends that other retailers follow to maintain their competitive edge.

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SOPHIEMAE2007's Photo SOPHIEMAE2007 SparkPoints: (53,217)
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2/15/11 8:41 P

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Thanks for the article. I know I haven't bought bananas in a while because they have gone up in price at Walmart and other grocery stores. Even my mom refuses to buy them at the price they are at.Not that I miss them all that much as they aren't my favorite fruit. I would love to see the prices go down on cucs and green/red/yellow/orange peppers and other veggies and fruit. It has been a while since I bought fresh produce.

I can't wait for growing season!!!

Edited by: SOPHIEMAE2007 at: 2/15/2011 (20:42)
Kim

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ANN5497's Photo ANN5497 Posts: 1,556
2/15/11 8:27 P

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Nice article - thanks for posting

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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,990
2/15/11 8:15 P

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Excerpted from journalist Daniel Akst:

Everyone likes a bargain So as part of a laudable five-year initiative to make foods it sells healthier, Wal-Mart stores plans to cut the price of its fruits and vegetables. The hope is that people will then buy more of them.
...
There is a story going around out there that many Americans aren't eating healthy foods because they can't afford it. ..
But the great majority of Americans - not just the poor - aren't eating healthy, and most are affluent enough not to be bothered by the cost of carrots and squash ...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for example, publishes a newsletter called Amber Waves, which reports on the agency's economic research. ... The USDA economists report that fruit and vegetable purchases aren't very sensititve to price - and neither are snack food purchases, which is why subsidizing arugula and taxing Cheetos are likely to be equally ineffective. In a 2008 study, USDA economists looked at households below 130 percent of the poverty line (a cutoff for food stamps) and found that small increases in income were not spent on fruits and vegetables. "These foods do not appear to be a priority for most low-income households," the authors wrote.

In households earning up to 185 percent of the poverty line, a 10 percent increase in income did lead to higheer spending on fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, the increase was less than 2 percent - which is awfully close to zero..
...

Another USDA report (reflecting that the problem is not really lack of access to produce sellers) notes that just 2.2 percent of households live more than a mile from a supermarket adnd lack access to a vehicle (to get them there). In other words, 98 percent of American families either live near a supermarket or can drive to one.

On top of all this, Wal-Mart's prices for produce, like all the other groceries it sells, are already quite low. That's probably why it's by far the nation's leading grocer.
...

Human behavior is hard to change - particularly when eating is involved. Let's face it: Americans aren't avoiding healthy foods because we can't afford them. We love a bargain, sure. Just not on Brussels sprouts.


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