4. Gallon Crock: One of the telltale signs that you’re really walking the walk is that you’ve got a nice earthenware crock for fermenting your CSA vegetables. Lacto-fermentation enhances vegetable nutrient value and shelf life and uses about zero energy resources, compared to canning or freezing which both require energy (either heat or electricity). You can occasionally pick up old crocks from yard sales, thrift stores, or antique shops (check for cracks). Harsch makes the most functional crocks, if you don’t mind spending over 100 bucks a pop.
5. Miso Paste: Why, out of all the foods out there, is miso so special? First of all, because it’s so tasty and healthy. How tasty? Tasty enough that foods like miso have their own secret flavor category (other than sweet, salty, sour, and bitter) called umami. How healthy? Miso is probiotic, aids digestion, is a great source of vitamins and minerals, reduces risk of some cancers, is high in antioxidants, and protects against radiation. To ferment it yourself could take a couple years, but to cook it takes about the same time as a Cup-O-Noodles, which we could call the anti-miso.
6. Coconut Oil: Once shunned by the health-conscious because of faulty information, coconut oil is making a big comeback. It’s versatile (the best vegan butter replacer) and tastes great. And compared to refined cooking oils (which are extracted with high heat and chemicals like hexane) coconut oil is much gentler on the environment. It also makes a great skin moisturizer and salve.