As I walked up to the pickup location for my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) on the Upper East Side in New York City, I noticed a 40+ man standing and staring at the table of displayed vegetables. He was wearing a light blue jumpsuit with a company logo on it. He didn’t say anything. He just stood there… staring.
I gathered my CSA share for the week: one head of cabbage, a bunch of collard greens, a bundle of fresh thyme, four shallots, a stalk of celery, four plum tomatoes, a box of cherry tomatoes and a few bell peppers.
When I finished, I noticed the man was still standing there. I turned to him and said, “Are you a member of this CSA?”
He said, “No. I’m just working across the street in that building. But, I noticed that purple pepper. It stood out. I’ve never seen a purple pepper before. What kind of pepper is that?”
“Oh, that’s a bell pepper.”
I pointed out the other bell peppers on the table. Some were red, some were green, some were red and green or orange and green, and then there were the purple peppers. They were all different sizes and shapes as well.
He said, “Wow! So that’s what they look like when they are naturally grown! When I shop at my supermarket the peppers all look alike. They are exactly the same size and shape. Like they were popped out of a factory or something. These are very different.”
“That’s exactly right! These peppers are unique. Just like us. There are no two things exactly alike in the natural world.”
He smiled and said, “I’ve got to go and visit a farm that grows natural food.”
I said, “Yeah baby! Go and check out some peppers. You’ll be like Peter Piper that picked a peck of purple peppers.”
“Hey, I remember that ditty,” he said.
“I’m just joshin’ ya! Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers not purple peppers, silly.”
It’s interesting. Something as simple as a “different” color pepper could grab someone’s attention and make them wonder about the food they are consuming, how it’s grown, and where it comes from.
Whatever it takes to spark human consciousness, I believe, is a good thing.
Have you seen any purple peppers lately?
Want to learn more about how to join a CSA? Check out JustFood.org or LocalHarvest.org
Or you can read about CSA’s and how to purchase the best food money can buy in my book, Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!