09 January, 2011

Yes, I Own a CSA Share and Still Shop at Sams Club

A contradiction you say? Not in our family.

I have a very clear moral base which is informed by my faith and my own study. That being said, I am very much a centrist on a lot of issues. I don't believe in the relative concept of "to each his own", but I do believe that everything in life is a balance.

I am on the fence between two extremes in a lot of areas of my life. I believe my number one vocation is family love, but I love to work and believe it is important. I believe that breastfeeding is best for babies, but I pumped and partially formula fed my babies from an early age. I own a half share in a CSA farm and I shop at Sams Club.

First and foremost, we live in Wisconsin. We cannot get fresh produce of any kind here for 4-6 months out of the year without shipping it in. Yet, healthy eating is a very significant core value of our family. This includes a lot of fresh/flash frozen produce and fresh meat and fish. Anyone who has learned the trick of shopping only the perimeter of the grocery store knows how pricey that can get. At Sams I can get more fresh spinach, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables for my buck than anywhere else. I can also get plenty of eggs, yogurt, and milk for my growing family.

That is my second point. Even if we could get produce here year round from CSA, we couldn't afford it. Anyone who wants to go local/natural has to be willing to pay for it. While it is a priority for us as a family, we have to balance that with the priority of me working parttime and my vocation to church work. Both of these priorities prevent us from going all organic because of the cost.

Furthermore, Sams Club/Walmart corporation provides a lot of jobs and benefits to people in our community and keeps a lot of money moving in our community. CSA does as well in different ways, but to say that one is better than the other from an economic standpoint is fruitless. In today's day and age different people have different needs. We cannot all afford natural/organic, but we all deserve to afford a healthly lifestyle. CSA offers one option and Sams Club/Walmart offers another. This way, everyone has the option to eat healthy if they make it a priority.

(Side note: While some may contest my statement of "everyone has the option to eat healthy", I stand by it. Certainly it may be cheaper to eat a burger of the dollar menu, but I also know how cheap and easy it is to make a kettle of soup or chili that will feed our family of 3 eaters for 3+ meals. Cheapest does not mean that something more expensive isn't affordable and let's not even go into the healthcare costs that go along with the supposed "cheapest" option.)

The food supply chain in our family requires a balance between local, seasonal, and affordable. I am proud that we've made nutrition a family value. I am proud that I have found a way to shop and cook in the best interest of the loves of my life.


Kim said...

I agree... and I do think that now days it can be difficult to feed your family healthily, so whatever helps you to do that is great... especially with part time work and helping out at church.

I think I've met you at some point before, when my husband and I lived in Green Bay... but I don't remember in what regard, though I know it was in Catholic circles. This would have been circa 2003-2004. And I think it was regarding something you had a hand in. I think I remember meeting at Cafe Luna for some kind of planning meeting. But I'm truly not positive about any of this... I have mommy brain.

Amberly Boerschinger said...

Glad to hear from you Kim! Yes, I think we met way back in 2006!!! A lot has changed since then!!!

We just have to do our best, mommy brain and all, to meet the needs of our families! Looks like yours is thriving!!! May God continue to bless you abundantly.