Op−Ed | Going local with World PEAS
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 01:03
Chances are that by now you’ve heard that the act of eating is complicated. We are often barraged with messages to eat healthy, eat local and eat organic. While it’s great that so much attention is being paid to how our everyday decisions such as eating affect the world around us, this information can also be overwhelming. Often, once you’ve committed to a single way that you hope you can make a difference, say, investing in a community supported agriculture (CSA) share, you are still faced with a lot of options. While having perhaps too many CSA options is a good sign that so much progress has been made for local food systems, it’s become hard to tell them apart aside from how many weeks they operate and their price. As students with limited budgets and time, it’s not unreasonable for us to ask a CSA to provide the biggest bang for our buck.
Luckily, there are some CSA models that go beyond the typical local and organic frameworks and offer a social mission as well. New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, affiliated with the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, runs the World PEAS CSA and offers one of these social missions. World PEAS aims to build long−term economic self−reliance and food security among farmers and their communities and to expand access of healthful and culturally appropriate foods in underserved areas through production of locally grown foods. With World PEAS, shareholder risk is mitigated by working with a multi−producer CSA: if disease or pests impact one farm, that item can be sourced from another. Food access is a large part of World PEAS’ mission and by having a large shareholder base it is able to leverage transportation and infrastructure capacity to do all sorts of food−access initiatives, like subsidized food deliveries to a homeless shelter in Lowell and a SNAP CSA.
Supporting a CSA like WorldPEAS means that not only are you feeding yourself well, but you are also supporting an economically, socially and environmentally just food system. With CSA models such as this one covering so many of the causes you care about, investing in a CSA share is a great way to make a far−reaching impact with just one small daily habit: eating your fruits and vegetables. If you’d like more information about WorldPEAS CSA, visit www.worldpeascsa.org. Student shares are available, and can be conveniently picked up at the Tufts Office of Sustainability.