Box Schemes: The best solution for food waste?
Welcome to Farm House Austin!
A team of 45 strong who deliver veg boxes to Austin's local community, who I recently had the pleasure of meeting.
Austin Farm House offers a weekly delivery service that gives you the ingredients to make up to 4 meals a week, all the contents come from local sources and are therefore naturally healthy.
Steve the head chief said, "Easy to cook meals help our customers gain in confidence in the kitchen not only with knife skills but also cooking healthy meals for the whole family."
What I loved most about farmhouse was their ethos of using local produce, helping to distribute food from local farmers to the community. They have a big no waste policy where any leftover food either gets made into broths, dehydrated to make something else or donated. Steve showed me how they turn food into broths and sauces when they have no use for it:
Portion control is a must, recent studies show that in America:
"Obesity is common, serious and costly. More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity"
They weigh out each ingredient so that couples and families can serve the right portion sizes. Farm House have even started hosting cooking classes so that the local community can learn how to cook real, wholesome food.
Farm House try to reduce their waste as much as possible but sometimes it's inevitable, they need a way of transporting the food to local households. At the moment they currently use bags to divide food portions which are not ideal due to the plastic. However, they do use re-useable freezer bags which customers can give back once they've used them so they are in constant circulation.
I found their eat clean policies truly inspiring:
- Long-term ecological sustainability and regenerative practices. We believe in treating the soil with just as much care and respect as the plants and animals that call it home.
- Only using natural, homoeopathic, and biodynamic treatments for plants and animals.
- When we order your fruits and vegetables, they’re still in the ground. Your produce has been harvested within days of getting to your front door, ensuring the freshest quality and highest nutritional value.
- High animal welfare standards. We only believe in pasture-raising animals and humane processing practices. We support ranchers who treat their animals with kindness and respect and feed their animals using the same food standards we hold our own food to.
- Paying farmers fairly and honouring our commitments. Eating clean isn’t just about the chemical makeup of the food we eat, it’s also about nurturing healthy and positive relationships with those who raise our food.
- We don’t support the use of synthetic preservatives, chemical pesticides, growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, artificial additives, high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, or ingredients we can’t pronounce.
- We don’t support undercutting the farmer. Clean, quality food takes a lot of time and resources to raise. We think that’s valuable, as are the people who make it happen.
- We don’t support unkind treatment of animals, including enclosed feedlots, long-term caging of animals, cramped or unclean living conditions, long-distance travel to processing facilities, low-quality feed, or any unkind treatment of animals.
In the end, we ask ourselves one easy question. Do I feel good about feeding this to my family? And then we go with our hearts.
Box schemes like Farm House Delivery in Austin, Texas can be massively beneficial to the local economy. They support farmers by paying up front for vegetables, they feed local people wholesome food and help the community eat a balanced diet. The only downside to some box schemes is that they have to separate the ingredients into different bags for their customers which produces waste.
So if this can be eradicated in the future then I LOVE a good box scheme! This could make a huge difference in my own community. If you feel the same the soil association recently bought out a tracker which helps you find your local veg scheme.
Personally, I use Organic Lea who I recently visited to find more about- as they are close to where I live....