Farm to People – Food Delivery Connecting Small Farms with New Yorkers
I believe that supporting small local farmers that engage in regenerative agriculture is one of the most important things we can do to actively change the wasteful and destructive food system and combat climate change. Eating local and seasonal food that has been grown responsibly is also one of the best investments for your health. Going organic is a great first step. But just because something is organic does not mean that it was produced in a sustainable way. It could have come from a place thousands of miles away and could have been grown in very extractive ways for the soil. I believe that the only sustainable food system of the future will be many small farmers that actively work within a framework that regenerates the soil, preserves nature, produces high-quality nontoxic products and treats the animals with the respect that they deserve.
So what can you do as a consumer? You can put your money into businesses that share your values. Every time we make a purchase we are voting with our money. We either say yes to a destructive, unsustainable system or we say yes to a system that will preserve the environment for future generations to come. Going to the farmers market, joining a CSA or getting to know farmers directly are all great ways. But it can be quite time consuming and not always accessible for all of us. Especially in places like the East Coast of the United States, the winter does not offer that much variety at the farmers market.
Introducing Farm to People
A few months ago I came across a local company called Farm to People. I was immediately intrigued and could not wait to try it out. Farm To People is an online farmer’s market delivering in NYC. They make it easy for busy New Yorkers to eat well at home by curating farm shares and a marketplace with the best seasonal, local produce, sustainable meat and fish, and delicious grocery staples. Unlike a traditional farm share, or CSA you can customize your box and skip/cancel anytime.
Farm to People shares my philosophy of working with farmers that care about soil health and the environment, use no or minimal pesticides, and treat the animals humanely at all stages of life. To read more about their standards click here. They also partner up with a few small farms in other places in the U.S. This means that you can safely order things like citrus fruits that do not grow here, knowing that they come from a farm that engages in best practices.
I am normally not a fan of delivery services for sustainability reasons. Yes, of course, it is super convenient, but it just generates so much trash. I was happy to hear that one of their concepts is to use minimal packaging. After having used it now for more than two months I am happy to report that I really like it. If you would like to try it to use my code “50SHADESOFAVO” and get a free small farm box or $25 off another box.
Here is how it works:
Farm to people offers two weekly delivery options and you don’t need to be home to receive your box! You can either sign up for a weekly customizable farm box or simply order à la carte just as you would for regular grocery delivery. They offer a variety of farm boxes, from different sizes of fruits and vegetables to paleo, omnivore and vegetarian boxes. You can change or cancel your order until 48 hours before your delivery and they will send you an email reminder before the cut-off time. On the day of the delivery, you will get a text message when they are close by. Deliveries happen between 5 pm and 11 pm. For more details on how it works, check out this page.
What I love most about Farm to People
I love that you can customize your box and add on as many other items as you like. This is really amazing for someone like me with food restrictions. For example, if you cannot have a specific item that is part of the box you can simply swap it out for something else. You can also add on as many items as you like. Personally, I started using it instead of my weekly grocery shopping trip.
Another plus is that you can cancel 48 hours before your delivery day. I love that there is no long-term commitment. If you are away or eat out a lot a week and don’t need groceries you can simply skip a week.
As mentioned above I believe that supporting small local farmers that care about the soil, the environment, and the animals is crucial at this moment in time. Farm to people makes this process a lot more convenient and accessible. It feels great putting your money into small businesses that actually make a difference.
The overall sustainability aspect of the company is a big one for me. By using Farm to People you also help eliminate food waste which is a huge driver of climate change. When you place your order, Farm to People lets the farmers know exactly how much was ordered. Depending on the season the farmers either directly harvest or sends what is needed, so nothing goes to waste.
This leads me to the next point. Since the food has been harvested according to the demand right before you receive it, it is super fresh. To reap the maximum nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables, you want to eat them when they are ripe and just harvested. Unfortunately, in order to travel a very long distance and arrive in the grocery store looking “fresh,” most of the food we buy in grocery stores was harvested before it was ripe. This means the fruits and vegetables have lost a lot of their nutritional value. With Farm to People, you avoid this whole process which means more nutrients for you.
And this also means better taste. Have you ever eaten fresh fruits and vegetables from a garden and compared it to what you can find in the grocery store? It tastes completely different. Most of us are not as lucky and cannot grow our own food. This is the closest it can get. Everything I have tried so far has been so incredibly flavorful and delicious.
I also love getting exposed to so many new fruits and vegetables that I have never tried before. This is another great way to get more nutrients into your diet. I don’t know about you, but I often grab the same fruits and vegetables when I go grocery shopping. Getting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet exposes you to a whole new dimension of phytonutrients which is great for your health.
As I mentioned earlier, I am hesitant about food delivery in general because of the wastefulness of its nature. I love how, compared to other food delivery services, Farm to People uses very minimal packaging and how they try to avoid plastic whenever possible. For example, most veggies are simply loose in the box. Some others, like lettuce, come in compostable bags and others in small paper bags. You can also return the box and icepack/insulation (if you ordered something that needed to be cooled such as meat) with your next delivery. And again you don’t need to be home for that either. You can simply leave it in front of your door or with your doorman. Farm to People will then reuse those boxes and materials, which again counts down on waste.
Last but not least the customer service and user experience are amazing. Every time I had a question about something they were very quick efficient in responding. I also love their automated system. You will get a reminder before your cut off time. So if you ever have to skip a week or you want to modify your box, there won’t be any bad surprises. You don’t have to remember any deadlines and your weekly grocery shopping can be done with a few clicks only. They really take care of everything for you.
As you can see I m pretty excited about supporting Farm to People and I highly encourage you to check them out. I partnered up with them to offer you a code so you can try a small farm box for free or get $25 off on any other box. Use my code “50SHADESOFAVO” to get this deal.