Public Green Category: Food Choices

Fill Your Pantry Event

KYFChicago (Know Your Food, Know Your Farmer) is organizing their Second Annual Fill Your Pantry event at the Paper Crown Gallery, 1518 E. Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights on Saturday, October 25, 1-4 pm. Support your area farmers who will be selling food items that can be stored and consumed over the winter. Items available to purchase will include dry beans, whole grains, flours, nuts, honey, roots, garlic, onions and winter squash. There will also be activities for the kids, so bring the family. Attendance is limited, so please register: Fill Your Pantry or call Mary Green at 847-230-0544 for more information.

Organic vs Conventionally Grown Produce

Do you often find yourself standing in the produce section of the market, wondering which fruits and vegetables are most contaminated with pesticides? Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases information on which fruits and vegetables are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides, broken down in two helpful lists, thus making it easier for consumers to decide between purchasing organic or conventionally grown produce. This shopper’s guide was recently updated for 2014 and is available on the EWG website. After you take a look at the shopper’s guide, take some time to read through the report for more information.

Community Sponsored Agriculture

If you have ever considered joining a CSA, now is a great time to sign up and ensure your spot for the 2014 season.  CSAs are generally run by local independent farms.  Your investment in the farm is paid back in the form of weekly or bi-weekly baskets of locally grown fruits and vegetables.  You can expect to prepay a set amount for the season and you will receive a share of the farm’s produce on a set schedule throughout the late Spring, Summer and early Fall.  This is a great way to receive an assortment of fruits and vegetables (and some CSAs also offer eggs, dairy products and meat for an additional fee.)  There are many websites such as whole livingthe Kitchn and Pinterest that are chock full of ideas on how to use your bounty.  If you want to ease into joining a CSA, buy a half share, which costs less and will consist of a smaller box once a week or a full size box every two weeks.  Local Harvest is a good site to use to find the perfect CSA for you.  Simply enter your zip code to find a list of CSA farms, as well as pickup dates and locations.  Stop in the library to check out some books on the subject, including The Locavore Way by Amy Colter, The Sustainable Kitchen by Stu Stein, and Gaining Ground : a Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard.