I’m a huge fan of farm boxes, which are often called CSA boxes. (The CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.) They’re an amazingly affordable and convenient way to get your hands on fresh, organic real food. There are a couple of different options. You can either pay a little extra to have one delivered directly to your door, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to wake up to a bountiful box of fresh fruits and vegetables on your desktop. Or, you can sign up with a farmer who drops boxes off at a specific location in your neighborhood. When I lived in San Francisco, the pick-up point was a block away – much closer than the grocery store. Some of my favorites in the Bay Area are: Full Belly Farm, Good Humus, Tara Firma Farms, The Fruit Guys and Terra Firma Farm (love these guys – I’ve learned a LOT reading their weekly emails).
You’ve probably heard of the dirty dozen a shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce which is released and updated every year by the Environmental Working Group. It’s a handy little guide to knowing which fruit and veg you should positively avoid because of their predisposition to absorbing pesticides if they are used – apples, celery and bell peppers top the list. The dozen also features produce, from onions to mushrooms, which are typically clean and low in pesticides. You might find this infographic helpful too.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is an amazing resource my nutritionist, Mary Vance, turned me on to. The Foundation is a nonprofit nutrition education foundation dedicated to providing us with accurate information about diet and health. They publish a fascinating annual Shopping Guide which lists the best, cleanest sources of real food from milk to cheese, processed meat to fresh meat, and soup to nuts (well just about!). Visit their web site to learn more. www.westonaprice.org.
I’m a Wholefoods junkie. If I visit a new town, I have to visit the Wholefoods to find out what different local produce they have on offer, and to see how their prices vary from region to region. They offer a range of newsletters and resources for saving money, cooking tips, etc, and more recently have started to do special discounts – at least in our local store.