When a farmer in Mexico ships his crops for the season, he doesn't necessarily "fill an order". There is a buyer in the US who wants what he's selling and so he takes a ton of his crop to the border and fills the buyers that he has lined up. Most of the time, he has more produce than is necessary to fill the orders. A lot more. So because of some customs laws and probably a general desire to not bring back lots of unbought food, the producers tend to leave the produce at the border. Just on the side of the road.
So this organization got together with them and agreed to buy their surplus for a minuscule amount of money. Then they take it into the US and sell it in big sales in parking lots, like the one at our church. You pay $10 for up to 60lbs of produce.
The goal is pretty admirable, for a very low price, fresh fruit and veggies can get to the masses, and people who don't otherwise have access to produce. It also helps facilitate neighborly produce trading. It's is a concept that I'd like to write about in more detail later, but suffice it to say that you can make some great friends trading off food that you grew, raised or otherwise acquired!
As you see, we don't take a full 60lbs because we don't need it, but in addition to this stuff we also have a full target bag of green beans, seriously, green beans for DAYS!!!
So it's something to think about, the politics of food and hunger. There are starving children right here in Tucson and literally tons of food rotting by the roadside not 45 miles south of where their little bellies growl. It really is a tragedy. So if you find one of these happening near you, get some food, take it to a local homeless shelter, or group home or just some poor family you know who is struggling. Post it on Craigslist. You will get so many responses from people who are struggling to eat if you offer free food on Craigslist.
This is one of those times when being an all organic person doesn't necessarily make sense. When your options for a kid are happy meal v. Roadside spaghetti squash, wise up, go with the squash. This is not to say you shouldn't have higher standards if you are able. Just that you should not let that standard get in the way of good common sense.
Now for the farm snobs among us, I feel it's worth pointing out. Did you see those tomatoes?
That's how your grocery store buys them. Unripe. They will red up eventually, but this is one of the biggest culprits behind why grocery store tomatoes are no where near as tasty as home grown. So if you are growing your own this year: don't pick til you are ready to eat or until they are waaaaaay ripe and you need to share with a friend. Trust me the sharing is just as good. :)
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