Making A Case For Okra

All produce tastes good, given the right attention, and with a good recipe and winning attitude, you can make anything delicious. In eating those less popular veggies, you also diversify your diet and are, perhaps, inherently healthier.


Take okra, for instance. Is there any vegetable more reviled? What other food combines a fuzzy exterior, giant seeds, and a mucousy finish? With that kind of flavor profile, it has got to be healthy for you! Freely admitting a complete lack of scientific research, reason dictates that such a unique vegetable must offer a nutritional profile unlike anything else. The problem is, unless you grew up eating it, it’s not likely that you will seek it out because, frankly, it’s an acquired taste.

And here enters one of the strongest arguments for Community Supported Agriculture: the beauty of CSAs is that putting trust in farmers to grow a wide variety of seasonal produce forces eaters to diversify their diets, and support local farmers on a weekly basis.

Do you go to the farmers market every week? When you do go to the market, how much eggplant do you end up buying in the summer? Would you really buy zucchini 8 times in a season? What about okra? How easy is it to just give it a pass?


Things come up. Kids have soccer. You had a late night. It’s raining. You just don’t feel like it. What happens to all the unpurchased produce? Farming is hard. The fickleness of the markets makes it a risky business, and the unpredictability of climate change has only compounded the problem.

So put down the kale smoothie, and trust in the power of okra. It’s good for you. It’s good for our farmers. And with a little effort, it actually tastes good. We learned that if you don't cut the pod, it doesn't release that sliminess. So just rinse it, drain it well (maybe even dry it) and toss it with olive oil and a little sea salt. Throw it under the broiler and let it get really crispy. Bam, your whole family loves okra. If you need a little more direction, check out this video and recipe for Okra Oven Fries on Rachel Ray TV


Tip: CSA Eating

There is a learning curve to eating locally and seasonally, so give yourself and your family the time to figure it out. It's worth learning because it can save you time and money, make you a more creative cook, and teach you to appreciate your food more as you savor the delicious quality of produce at its peak of...Read more


As both a vendor and a member, I've found Fair Shares to be a wonderful organization to be a part of. It has opened my eyes to a whole range of farmers/producers in the region that I may never have had the opportunity to come in contact with if it weren't for my involvement with Fair Shares. And you folks all rock!

- Josh Allen

Josh Allen, Companion Bread, St. Louis MO
Companion Bakery