Wednesday, August 1, 2018

When is Fresh Really Fresh?

What’s your definition of fresh? Picked that day? Yesterday? How do you know what’s fresh means when you go to, say, Whole Foods, Walmart or Stop & Shop? Where do they get their “organic” food from? Is it from China, Peru, California or is it coming from the state you live in? What are the “organic” practices in other countries? Who’s watching across the pond and what standard do they follow? We should all be aware of where and how our food is grown. In the dead of winter will do purvey organic produce from California and sometimes South America, because who can live without coffee and avocado's?  

My definition of fresh and local food is simple: to me fresh is walking out to your back yard and grabbing a few veggies or herbs from the garden, eggs from your chickens, and berries from your bushes. The advent of the “Eat Local” and “Farm to Table” movements have been made popular by celebrity chefs and social media and have forced big agriculture and big box stores to jump on the bandwagon or be left behind. But they only make things blurry with their claims of freshness and local!

I am not sure how the big box stores get away with using the terms "fresh" and "local" together. These stores have a system of moving food that takes time. When it reaches your home, it’s been around awhile, and has lost a lot of it’s nutritional value, which in my view is more important than being certified organic. Big supermarkets are moving large quantities of product all over the state and sometimes the country. They store in warehouses and they ship to different stores, from there the store managers place it on the shelves and you come in and buy it. So fresh doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Fresh to them may be 3-4 days old or longer. At the end of the day how do you really know? 

Fresh without the fuss…and knowing its always fresh, always local. 

Connecticut Farm Fresh Express (CTFFE) has been gathering local and fresh foods for over 10 years and delivering it to doors of homes, stores and restaurants all over the state. We began the business and remain motivated by the desire to help our local farmers remain viable and sustainable, by offering  another avenue to distribute their products. We choose our farmers and vendors with a lot of care. We search for farmers that look to have nutrient-dense soil - no need to be “certified organic” as long as they follow organic growing methods. The livestock farms need to provide an area for free-range, grass-fed and the animals need to be able to roam around and not be kept in a small pen without the ability to access pastures if they want.

Is our FRESH your FRESH? We hope so!

At (CTFFE), we know it’s hard for working couples and parents to even get to a grocery store let alone a farm or farmers market. Pea Pod has a thriving home delivery business for big agriculture food companies. We decided to bring the farmers market to your door all year long. We publish what products from farmers and artisans will have for us and we make it available on our online store. Items change weekly and with the seasons. Once a week we send our team out to those farms and bring fresh food back to our facility in East Haddam, where we collate and package orders for delivery the following day. 

We will be opening our warehouse to the public, daily from 9-5 except Wednesdays... 24 Mount Parnassus Road, East Haddam - COME IN AND SEE US!

The benefits of eating local are myriad: fresh, environmentally sound, healthy, supports local economies, tastes better, and it’s the right thing to do!

Deb Marsden, Founder of CT Farm Fresh Express, LLC

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