Community Supported Agriculture

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Community Supported Agriculture

Walking through the aisles of many grocery stores, labels such as "organic," "all-natural," and "dairy-free" describe an ever-increasing number of products on the shelf. A growing interest in healthy eating has spurred the manufacture of these commodities, but they are often so highly priced that many of the shoppers cannot justify fitting the extra cost into their budgets. In addition, though these goods have been organically produced, they may have traveled long distances to reach the shelf, increasing price and reducing their freshness, not to mention the environmental damage caused by burning fossil fuels during transportation.

As a consumer, I have been searching for ways to acquire what I need in the most ethical and ecological way possible. For example, though I like to eat bananas, I am aware of the great social and environmental injustices of banana plantations. I know that by eating at many fast food chains, I am supporting cattle ranchers in South America who deforest land that has little top soil, and graze it until all nutrients in the soil have been depleted, making the land barren in a number of years. One solution to these concerns is a recent development in agricultural strategy, known as community supported agriculture, or CSAs.

CSAs are farms that operate for the purpose of growing food in and for the local community. Each farm must decide the specific details of its operation, but all CSAs run on the principal of pre-payment. Members of the CSA, which can range from ten to two hundred families, purchase a share at the start of the growing season. Each week thereafter, the members travel to the farm or other designated drop-off point, and receive a portion of what has...

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Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. University of Wisconsin. 14 May 2002

Cone, Cynthia A., and Andrea Myhre. "Community Supported Agriculture: A Sustainable Alternative t Industrial Agriculture?" Human Organization 59.2 (2000): 187-196.

Kneen, Brewster. "CSA Roots in Japan." In Context- A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture 42 (Fall 1995). 14 May 2002

12 Reasons to Eat Local and Organic. Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

14 May 2002<BR>

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