Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rewind and review

Yes, I've been slow on the updates....I apologize. In my defense, we do have a large benefit coming up (check it out here...sorry, it's sold out!) and I went to NYC for five days. That was my second time in the Big Apple and I left very impressed. The two standout items: the subway and walking. How does this relate to CHC, you ask? Simple: those two items make the city a better and healthier place to live...and part of our mission is to build healthier communities.

Here's an article from this week's New York Times entitled Salad Days for the Internet (no, I didn't pick it up in New York and yes, this will hopefully be the last mention of New York). The brunt of the article is that there are new and exciting ways for the average citizen (read: someone not part of the "choir") to buy locally grown food online. While the author doesn't delve too deeply into the positives or negatives of the various produce home delivery companies, the general tone of the article endorses them and their practice.

One of the companies spotlighted in the article is SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery). SPUD operates here in the NW and many of you may be familiar with the company. In fact, many of you may remember that SPUD recently bought Pioneer Organics, another online produce home delivery company.

Is this good? Is it bad? Is it somewhere in the middle? On one hand, it seems like a "green washing" effort, whereby companies claim to support local food systems, but their true allegiance is with greater profits. On the other hand, these companies are a fantastic way for the average citizen to start getting involved with local agriculture. One major question: do these companies actually work with local farms or do they buy all of their produce from large distributors? I think that's the rub right there. I mean, acting as a middle-man is one thing, but acting as a retail front while claiming to support local farms is a hoax. I waver on this topic. I'm not exactly sure where I fall. I think I'll wait to pass final judgment until we get a better idea of what these companies are actually doing. If they follow traditional businesses and, as they grow, lose their values, then it's a bad trend. If, however, they find innovative and constructive ways of dealing with local farms and providing greater access to local agriculture, then it's a great trend.

We shall see. In the next few posts, I'll write about our trip to Kitsap County to visit with farmer/author/ramble-rouser Joel Salatin and the enormous success of FoodLust 2008.


Article Roll-call:

Group works collaboratively with healthcare companies to improve quality

Fast Food Goes Organic

Beef Disputes

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