The truth is that most people gradually make the transition to becoming a full-fledged vegetarian slowly. Although you may wake up one day and decide you will no longer eat meat, you may be worried about how you are going to find more fruit and veggie dishes to add to your diet, or be worried about finding enough protein for your diet. Many people begin by making the choice to introduce more meatless meals and fresh produce into their diets. A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share can help you make the transition much more smoothly.
Community Supported Agriculture
This is the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits from a local farmer in your area. The CSA will sell you a share of their produce for a set price at the beginning of the growing season. Then each week you will receive a box full of vegetables and fruit grown on their farm. These are truly fresh vegetables and are packed with the nutrients that your body needs. You can choose a CSA that farms organically and pesticide free so that you have more control over the food that you are eating. The CSA will deliver different vegetables each week that are in season and offer a large variety. Most families struggle to eat a full share, but you can supplement from the grocery store or your own garden if you need to.
Trying New Foods
One of the best aspects of participating in a CSA is that you will have the opportunity to try a variety of new vegetables that you may have been intimidated to try before you received the box. I was afraid of okra, with the slimy texture from eating hot lunches at school, but when I got it in my CSA box I looked up some recipes and now it is on my children’s favorite vegetables list. Many CSA’s will include serving suggestions with their produce or you can search online for ideas. It may make menu planning in advance a bit difficult, but the grower will know what is coming the next week and may give you an idea. You may also be able to swap out your least favorite veggies with someone else that gets the CSA boxes.
Moving Beyond Meat Substitutes
There are plenty of plant based protein rich foods that allow you to move beyond having tofu or other soy based products for every meal or every day. Your dark green leafy vegetables are often quite high in protein and your CSA box is often full of these each week. The boxes will allow you to explore new recipes and to increase your protein intake. It is important that you remember that you need to balance your protein intake so that you can maintain a healthy diet. There are people who become junk food vegetarians and these people do not receive the same health benefits as someone that keeps adding fresh vegetables and fruit to his diet. Your CSA box will help you to make better diet choices each day.
Dana Vicktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves in vitro fertilization and pregnancy symptoms.