Today our supermarkets have become more saturated than ever with “franken” foods with so called healthy labels. Gluten free does not mean sugar free and vegan does not mean chemical free. The unregulated “natural” food label has become meaningless, slapped on a plethora of processed foods. However, as consumers we do have the power to turn this unsettling tide around by supporting independent farmers or community supported agriculture. Every time any of us purchases from a farmer’s market or fair trade cooperative, we make a strong statement about where we want our dollars to go, thereby siphoning profits way from unethical corporations.
The power of produce cannot be underestimated, and where you spend your money on food can have a profound and far-reaching impact. Now your dollars can not only support local farmers, but farmers in third world countries who are struggling under the constant threat of war or abusive multi-national corporations. The bonus is you get food that is fresher and better tasting than the supermarket counterparts, while supporting sustainable farming around the world.
The Equal Exchange Coop has made it possible to support these struggling farmers most recently with the Palestinian Farmer’s box, which is back by popular demand. Palestinian farmers are struggling with land confiscation, Israeli military and settler violence, water siphoned away to encroaching illegal settlements, and debilitating checkpoints that cause isolation and the inability to export their products.
Last year the Palestinian Farmers box sold out, with plenty of glowing reviews on the Equal Exchange website. This year, the high quality products are sold by the box or a la carte for extra convenience. This box contains pantry items that can mix beautifully with your local farm fresh produce to create outstanding Middle Eastern dishes. Included in the box are massive dates from Jericho with a caramel-like flavor, smoky and nutty freekeh– a Palestinian grain rich in iron and fiber, hand-rolled Maftoul or couscous by a Palestinian cooperative of women, and ultra large roasted almonds. Each box also has a sheet of some of my favorite recipes so you can put these ingredients to good use. Look out for future videos where I feature these ingredients in new and fun recipes, so we can cook together!
To learn more about the items available in the Palestinian boxes and how it has helped farmers and food artisans thrive, check out my new video below. To order the farmers box, click HERE