That's Using Your Melon!

Cantalope Here's a riddle: Two melons are sitting on a shelf. Everything about them looks virtually identical, except the price: One costs substantially more than the other. Which do you buy? Used to be, we didn't have to think twice — the answer was the cheaper one. But now, the bottom line isn't in the checkbook.

We've all heard about the dangers of commercial farming: toxic pesticide and fertilizer residues, topsoil erosion, the increasing immunity of crop-destroying pests. But choosing the more expensive melon — the one marked "organic" — is choosing to return to simpler times, before fear of food contributing to health problems was even a consideration.

In two heartening trends, more consumers are regularly buying organic produce, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are popping up all around the country. At CSA farms, consumers purchase "shares" prior to the harvest and receive a weekly portion of seasonal, organic produce in return. "CSAs not only provide individuals with healthy food, but they are a way to recreate community and reconnect people to the land," says Chuck Beedy, executive director of BioDynamics, a San Francisco-based group that organizes CSAs. "Supporting organics helps to guarantee a positive evolution for mankind." Wouldn't you say that's worth a more expensive melon?

To find out more about CSAs near you, check out www.biodynamics.com or call 800-516-7797.

— Josh Dinar

Photography by: Jeff Padrick