Beware of Greenwashing!

Do You Know Where Your Food Dollars Go?

We've been seeing a lot of advertising from businesses who are jumping on the local food bandwagon and claiming to support "local and sustainable" but are mostly just selling industrial foods from local distributors or industrial agribusiness. If only a tiny percent of what they are selling is actually locally produced, is that enough to claim it's what they're all about?

Is that really what "supporting local" means to the consumer? Supporting a locally-owned business is one thing (and are these "local" supporters even locally owned?), but if the meat or ingredients are being shipped in from far away industrial farms, is that "sustainable local food"?

People want to support our local farmers, but some of our small farmers say these guys are imposters--where are the farms they are advertising as local, and where is the product really coming from? Fair Shares works to connect our local farmers with local producers, e.g. Midwest Pasta, Companion Bread, and SLU to put more local ingredients into the food we put in our shares. This is another way we're keeping more money in the local economy.

We've seen industrial organic usurp the true meaning of the term organic and now we see the same happening with the term local. So, how do companies like Fair Shares and Local Harvest Grocery differentiate ourselves and educate consumers on the importance of really knowing where your food dollars are going?

Tip: Clean Greens

The greens we get (particularly some of the winter spinach) can be pretty dirty. Sometimes they're pristinely clean, but still, we suggest you always wash your food! Give it an initial rinse and then remove the stems and soak the leaves in plenty of clean water. I use my salad spinner, placing the leaves in the...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares since 2009. We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO