Back by Popular Demand: The Palestinian Farmer’s Box
By: Blanche Shaheen/Arab America Contributing Writer
Today, our supermarkets have become more saturated than ever with “Franken” foods with so-called healthy labels. Gluten-free does not mean sugar-free and vegan does not mean chemical-free. The unregulated “natural” food label has become meaningless, slapped on a plethora of processed foods.
However, as consumers, we do have the power to turn this unsettling tide around by supporting independent farmers or community-supported agriculture. Every time any of us purchases from a farmer’s market or fair trade cooperative, we make a strong statement about where we want our dollars to go, thereby siphoning profits way from unethical corporations. The bonus is you get food that is fresher and better tasting than the supermarket counterparts while supporting sustainable farming around the world.
Equal Exchange is a worker cooperative based upon standard democratic principles. The goal is not to maximize profits, nor returns to investors, but to bring to the workplace many of the rights and responsibilities that we hold as citizens in our communities. Fair Trade is a way of doing business that ultimately aims to keep small farmers an active part of the world marketplace and empower consumers to make purchases that support their values.
The Equal Exchange Coop has made it possible to support these struggling farmers, most recently, with the Palestinian Farmer’s box, which is back by popular demand. Palestinian farmers are struggling with land confiscation, Israeli military and settler violence, water siphoned away to encroaching illegal settlements, and debilitating checkpoints that cause isolation and the inability to export their products.
Last year, the Palestinian Farmers box sold out, with plenty of glowing 5-star reviews on the Equal Exchange website. This year, the high-quality products are sold by the box or a la carte for extra convenience. This box contains pantry items that can mix beautifully with your local farm fresh produce to create outstanding Middle Eastern dishes.
By making the choice to buy fairly traded products, you help provide health care, education, and technical training for farmers, workers, and artisans around the world. By supporting the Equal Exchange, you join the movement to reclaim the food system – to make it better for farmers, consumers, and the earth.
To learn more about the items available in the Palestinian box and how it has helped farmers and food artisans thrive, check out the video below:
To order the farmers box or individual items go to https://equalexchange.coop/palestinian-products
Blanche Shaheen is a journalist, host of the YouTube cooking show called Feast in the Middle East, and soon to be cookbook author of the “Feast in the Middle East” cookbook. She specializes in Arab cuisine of the Levant and beyond. You can check out her cooking video tutorials and other recipes at https://www.youtube.com/user/blanchetv or her blog at https://feastinthemiddleeast.wordpress.com/