Thriving out of Brooklyn, New York, Farm To People is in many ways a game-changer. At first glance, they may appear to be justanother player in the food delivery market. However, after delving deeper into their mission and varied offerings, it didn’t take us long to see why they are quite a force to be reckoned with among meal-planning services.Founded on the principles of transparency, discovery, and remaining a small-batch company, Farm to People holds steady to their pillars of supporting products without GMO’s, only animals that were raised humanely, all while leaving scary, confusing, artificial additives out of the picture.Currently, Farm to People offers two delivery box options: “The Fresh Box” and “The Tasting Box.” The Fresh Box is comparative to a farmer’s market delivery box. With this option, you choose an omnivore, vegetarian, paleo, or vegan plan, knowing that whatever option suits your lifestyle, you’ll receive an assortment of ingredients: all fresh, colorful, and in season. The box also comes with recipe suggestions meant to inspire you rather than dictate your cooking experience.
The Tasting Box offers an artisanal ingredient selection, i.e., curries, sauces, seasonings, and teas. The Tasting Box arrives once a month, and you cannot specify diets with this box. You can opt for a delivery of 4 items (‘the casual foodie:’ $30) or 6-8 items (‘the food critic:’ $50.)
We had the chance to speak with co-partner and son, Michael Robinov, more about Farm to People’s history, features, and future. Michael highlighted that all products offered are made in the USA, and come with a unique story attached.The calm, yet energetic co-partner also explained why he thinks Farm to People has had explosive success, and relates it back to the 2008 economic recession. He believes the ‘08 crash led to a large cultural shift, as the lives of many were disrupted, causing people to walk away from corporate jobs (or be fired) and venture out with their own business ideas and concepts. Breaking out of the mold is a bold move that Michael is quite familiar with, as he left NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to work with the family business.Michael also cites a shift in consciousness among people, circling back to careers that, “have meaning to [you] as a person,” and contain “so much more meaning, purpose, and feeling to [them] that it’s almost contagious.”Farm to People intends to emerge as a leader in sustainability; an issue that many food delivery services struggle with, resulting in the customer often feeling guilty about the amount of waste being produced.This concern is quite valid. In regards to food waste, amount of plastics discarded, and quantity of oil it takes to produce one pound of beef (¾ of a gallon, by the way), it seems humans are wreaking havoc with every food-related decision. Does it have to be this way? Experts say absolutely not.
Currently, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that close to 1.3 billion tons of food waste are created each year. If you have an allergy to capers, and receive an artisanal, perishable puttanesca sauce made with caper berries in your delivery box, our bet is you’ll most likely throw it out, rather than take it down to a food pantry. Right there, in this simple act: plastic, food, and energy waste have all been created by that one unfortunate caper berry allergy.Michael has a plan for a new reuse/renew program, describing it as ‘similar to the old milkman model.’ For now though, many of Farm to People’s ‘a la carte’ offerings are packaged with plastics, and not every product is certified organic, meaning that there may still be chemicals and fertilizers at play during the food production process.Additionally, the jury is still out on how harmful GMO’s really are to humans. Currently, there is not enough long-term research to provide a conclusive decision, but some experts argue that the human body is not foreign to processing DNA, and that food free of GMO’s may be slightly unnecessary, while absolutely more costly to consumers.The company, like many others, definitely has room to grow in taking steps toward protecting and healing the environment, but we predict they will be a force for change within food culture.In the meantime, remember the power of your individual dollar and small, daily choices. “Meatless Mondays” and walking or biking to your nearest farmers market instead of driving creates more change than you realize.