Giving the Box of Greens a Try

My frustration with Whole Foods has reached rather massive levels. I had been annoyed by their staff who love to put eggs on the bottom of the bag or can’t ring you up quickly because they’re hungover/still drunk/high from the night before. A lot of customers who walk around talking on their cellphones were really getting to me as well. But in the end, there was always the food; that delicious, organic food. It wasn’t cheap, but it sure did appear and taste to be a lot more wholesome. They have unfortunately stripped that away from me as well.
Lately, I have had big issues in getting greens that spoil in two days and milk that spoils in maybe four at most. If you ask the people who work there about this, you get the line, “Well it’s organic and not pasteurized or anything, so it won’t keep as long as the stuff that’s all treated other places.” This is definitely true to some extent, but not to the level that they’re talking about. I see how it comes in to their storage areas. There’s no real protection from the elements and it obviously stays in non-refrigerated areas for some time. Oh and don’t ever, ever buy anything there on a weekend. That’s when fresh products have been sitting the longest and will spoil even faster on you.
There are alternatives to this mega, supposedly healthy store based in Texas. One is Trader Joe’s, which while not always amazing, is substantially cheaper. I like TJ’s a great deal because they undercut Whole Foods and keep them just a wee bit more honest. Another option, which I have just embarked upon is what’s called CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you sign up to receive a box of wholesome goodness directly from the farm, the day it’s picked. This has become a bit of a fad in the last year or two and it took Whole Foods’ arrogant attitudes and latent poor quality to finally push me in to trying it.
I ended up choosing, Farm Fresh To You. It seemed like a decent deal when presented at the Slow Food Nation event two weeks ago. The cool thing is that they source from Capay Valley which is about an hour away and grows tasty items up in the Sacramento Valley. I like this because it supports organic, sustainable agriculture, provides jobs to Californians (or well, maybe Mexicans as the case may be…), reduces fuel costs as it’s not being shipped from south of the Equator, and also promotes eating seasonal vegetables as once again, items are not shipped from south of the Equator.
I got my first box last Wednesday and it was pretty decent. For one person who cooks at home a lot, it would be perfect. For two, it’s a tad bit scant and needs to be supplemented with a little bit more food. But what they give you is good. There are cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, okra, melon, eggplant, fresh basil, arugula, bok choy, and a number of other veggies in there. It’s a nice selection and the best part is that it makes you start to have to think about cooking again because I’ve never cooked bok choy or okra before, which means I need to look up interesting recipes for them.
In the long run, I have no idea how this will work out. I don’t know if it will be enough or if the $29 a shipment will be excessive over what I would pay at a local store. The only thing I do know is that this is the start of a slowly rising middle finger in the direction of Whole Foods. Next will be finding a new place to buy dairy products and then meat.
Giving the Box of Greens a Try