Blogging Slate's Lantern: On CSAs and Surplus

Blogging Slate's Lantern: On CSAs and Surplus

Jonathan B.
Oct 16, 2008

If you join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) co-op, and they give you more food than you can use, are you helping the environment or hurting it? Slate's answer may surprise you.

Lots of folks have joined the CSA movement (or have just signed up for organic produce delivery.) It seems a common problem is too much food. One beleaguered and honest CSA member asked Jacob Leibenluft, who writes The Lantern Q&A column for Slate, whether it was still green to join a CSA even if it meant chucking more food in the trash.


Our gut feeling? Waste is waste, and good intentions don't make much of a difference. But Slate's recommendation is to develop a strategy for using the extra. Either give it to friends, or bring it to a food bank. And in the worst case, compost it. Leibenluft says that joining a CSA probably helps the environment even if it means wasting a little extra. And eating more organic fruits and vegetables—and, therefore, less meat— will likely increase your own health.

image via Slate

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