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Nutrition: Buying from CSAs

 

By: Julia Nowak – TEAM RAGE Contributing Author (and my wife!)

 

Grass Fed MeatLike most families, we try to stretch our dollars as far as we can. It is also very important to us to buy our meat / poultry / dairy / eggs as ethically as possible. This is why community supported agriculture (CSA) is so important to us. We buy in bulk to get the best prices, and buy locally so we know the animals are being grass-fed and treated well on family farms (and in most cases we have met the farmers!). It’s a wonderful lesson for our kids as well—when we buy eggs our kids get to feed the chickens! For our family of four we buy an eighth of a cow, a quarter pig, and a half a lamb and several whole chickens each year. Buying in bulk makes it very cost effective. On a regular basis we buy milk from grass-fed cows and eggs from chickens raised on a local farm.

 

Feeding Chickens

Sam feeding the chickens at a local farm !

 

It may seem daunting at first because you have to do a little research to find what’s near you, but it’s easier than you might think, and it’s worth it. This isn’t to suggest that you need to do everything we’re doing, but it’s worth taking a look at to see what’s near you and what works best for your family. Even if you’re a city dweller, don’t assume this is out of your reach—many farms do monthly drop-offs in metro areas. They will sometimes offer steeper discounts if you “pool” with friends or neighbors, so you can still get a great price even if you don’t need (or have freezer space for) that much meat.

 

CSA VegetablesCSAs aren’t limited to meat and poultry either! Many offer seasonal fruits and vegetables, which is a great way to eat what’s in season and to try new things—some deliver a “surprise” assortment every two weeks depending on what is growing locally at the time. For specific produce we visit farmer’s markets, and we also pick berries in the spring and apples in the fall and jar our own applesauce, apple butter, and jam. Our kids love to “help” with making things we actually eat.

 

There are lots of websites that can help you identify what’s near you. Two of our favorites are www.localharvest.org, and www.eatwellguide.org, which both allow you to search for farmer’s markets, CSAs, farms, etc., by location.

Apple Farm

Picking apples at the apple farm !

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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, HowDoIGetRipped.com and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!

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