Monday, August 6, 2012
FULL CIRCLE - Healthier Eating is just a mouse-click away.
When I was a child I remember the milk man coming to the front door. He brought his chilled bottles of the fresh, cold white beverage to be poured over our cereal. My mother would go to the front porch for the delivery and bring the carton of misty-chilled glass bottles into the house and set them on the kitchen counter. I thought it was magic.
But of course it wasn’t magic, it was good old American entrepreneurship. Farmers milked their cows, the milk was processed for consumption and delivered as fresh as possible to the doorsteps of happy consumers. Then came the mass production of containers, the longer shelf life of food products, the advent of TV dinners. Convenient, certainly. Healthier? Not so much. There’s a lesson there for the health-conscious. The longer the chain of custody between consumers and the food they eat, the more those consumers lose in the health value of the foods themselves. Preservatives gave us more time, but along the way, we lost out on nutrient value in many foods, nutrients that were supplanted by chemicals in our systems that we have come to learn are not the best for preserving own longevity. And then there’s the loss of flavor over time. I mean, is there any comparison to truly fresh corn?
FRESH PRODUCE STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOORSTEP!
Recently I was offered a marvelous opportunity by Full Circle, a company dedicated to resurrecting the home delivery of recently harvested local produce. Their program includes dairy, as well as other delectable offerings from farmers all around the state. They offered to give me several months of membership at no charge, so that I might help them test out the system as Full Circle expanded their successful home delivery program to include the Bay Area. Being a food writer, I’m offered a lot of opportunities to try products, or to judge events, but few have changed my life so dramatically as this one.
After several months of receiving produce on my doorstep early each Tuesday morning, I’ve found that I’m cooking more, inspired by the ingredients that arrive fresh from the farm. No remembering to swing by Whole Foods to get those tomatoes I’ve forgotten to replace after the last salad. I’ve made sweet corn right on the cob, steak slathered in fresh-picked mushrooms and salads piled high with ripe juicy tomatoes.
And the fruit! Strawberries that need only to be rinsed and popped into the mouth to thrill the palate beyond measure. The BH enjoys his grapefruit, and we’re drinking fresh squeezed orange juice with breakfast on the weekends. It’s been quite the revelation. So much so that I’m determined to make it a habit.
Full Circle membership is a reasonably priced alternative that is easy to manage. One can turn off any single delivery with a visit to the member login portion of the site and a click of a mouse. In addition to weekly deliveries of produce (which come in various sizes: Seed, Sprout, Garden & Harvest) the site offers the option to shop at their grocery, featuring local cheeses, jams, pickled goods, and all manner of other goodies. The size of delivery can be changed as often as desired, to accommodate a small family or a one-time large family gathering.
There’s something to be said for cooking meals inspired by what’s fresh and available rather than using prescribed ingredients to suit the demands of a particular recipe. It allows for more creativity certainly, but it also provides a more nutritious and satisfying meal.
My “free time” was up several weeks ago, and I’ve decided to keep Full Circle in my regular line-up of food acquisitions. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s fresh! Maybe I just miss the days of the milk man, but I say bring him back. It’s more exciting than waiting for the ice cream truck!
Full Circle can be found at www.fullcirclefarms.com - Check it out for yourself and make a memorable meal!
Posted by The Food Apprecianado