“Farming is cool, smart, sexy, and humane.” -Cherrie Atilano (Founder, AGREA)
We owe a lot to farmers. Without them (as well as fishermen), we would not have food to eat and keep us physically alive and fit to do our work on earth. Unfortunately, there are places where these unsung heroes are very much unsung of (and sometimes even oppressed or taken advantage of!). The Philippines is sadly one of those places; farmers remain to be towards the bottom line – when they should be among our wealthiest for the wealth they bring to everyone!
However, thanks to the efforts of some brilliant and enlightened young people – such as Cherrie Atilano of AGREA and Jen Horn of Muni PH – the plight of the farmers is being overcome with help from those who seek more for others before the self. Now you don’t have to be a social entrepreneur to help the less empowered more sustainably – your very choices as a consumer also speak volumes about your social action. And now, thanks to one social enterprise, our food choices can now help change the world! Here’s the Good Food Community.
If you’re a fan of organic produce (while studies say that the health benefit of organic food is minimal if not negligible compared to non-organic food, it is very beneficial to the environment) and want to help farmers more concretely, look no further. The Good Food Community is “good” on so many levels: your food is good for you (fruits and vegetables always known for their health benefits), it’s good in the sense that it’s organic, it’s good for the environment, and the community members are good in their support for organic, eco-friendly, and pro-people choices.
Produce by GFC is planted and harvested by farmers in Benguet and Tarlac, mountainous provinces to the north of the capital, and purchased directly (no profiteering middle men, and thus conforming to fair trade-esque practices) from them, thereby granting them more sustainable livelihoods. Because we let nature run its course, there is one important factor to consider if you’re a GFC subscriber (more on that below): you cannot dictate the produce you want. Subscribers get what is in season and what is being produced. But anyway, they’re all good for us, and as an advocate of all things natural, I don’t really see any problem here. Besides, it helps you keep an open mind as to what your dinner will be!
Subscribing is very easy. You choose from three kinds of packs – the standard Bayong Pambahay (“Basketful for the House”), full of vegetables and the occasional fruit; the Salad Pack, which contains salad greens and herbs; or the Juice Pack, which contains vegetables good for juicing. Then you choose whether to subscribe to them for 4 or 12 weeks (1 or 3 months); naturally, due to economies of scale, the 12 weeks option is cheaper per week. Your basket gets delivered every Wednesday morning to a community “hub”, or a “center” where subscribers get their packs – of which Human Nature Marikina is one. Both GotHeart shops – Esteban Abada St. and Katipunan Ave. – are also hubs.
Once you subscribe, you’ll be invited to the Facebook group of GFC, where among others the listing of produce for the following week is posted. At least, here, you get some notice in advance of what to expect, so that you won’t necessarily be surprised come the following Wednesday.
We all know vegetables and fruits are good – essential, even – for you, so one should definitely include these in their grocery list. That’s where comparison ends: where do you buy your vegetables next? A lot of produce in supermarkets are either genetically-modified or farmed with traditional modern chemicals – potentially “poisoning” the produce with pesticides, etc., as well as the land. Oh, and giant companies don’t always pay the farmers well.
With GoodFoodCo., you are assured of a direct relationship with the farmers (they also offer trips to the communities so you can bond with them) as well as quality food that is both good for you and the planet too. I invite you therefore to consider switching your vegetables to GFC and help make a difference.
For more details or queries, visit GFC’s Web site at http://www.goodfoodcommunity.com.