Posted by & filed under FAQ, Food Philosophy.

Golden Gate Organics is different than the traditional CSA model. Some CSA’s only deliver fruits and veggies that they grow themselves. Under this model variety may be severely limited at times. Additionally, with some CSA’s you get stuck with whatever you get in the box and have no choice over what you will be receiving. Other CSA’s will offer items mostly from their farm but will also include items from other farms as well, sometimes out of the area or region in order to add greater variety. Some CSA’s advertise that, some do not and mislead their customers.

GGO is a new breed of CSA which Wayne and I thought up and founded ourselves which would remedy what we saw were the shortcomings of those models. Since we do not have our own farm we are free to work with farmers from all over the West Coast, Mexico, and in the case of the bananas this week, Peru, and Pineapples from Coast Rica. I do make every effort to ensure transparency with where your food is coming from so you may make an educated decision on what you would like to receive. When you log into your account you will often see country codes next to the display names of the items which indicate which country it came from. If there is no country code then it is from California. I even have a farm page that has taken me much time to put together and list the farms where your items are purchased from. It is by no means perfect but I can say that it is much more information than my competitors offer their customers. Here is the link: and it is updated each week when I make the menu.

The model we have allows our customers the flexibility of choosing what they receive and customizing their boxes to get what they like as well as skipping deliveries if they need to. This way customers may sub out items that are from farther away, say Mexico, for more local California items. In a perfect world I would be able to provide my customers with nothing but local California produce grown right here in our backyards but that isn’t realistic or economical; maybe someday.

But my customers want those items and I am obliged to obtain them in order to provide great service and meet their needs. In the winter in California prices on produce skyrocket due to cold weather and other variables that are encountered by our farmers. Mexico with its much warmer climate can grow most of the items year round that CA, and the rest of the U.S., can only grow for a season or two. Because of this warmer more farm-friendly weather Mexican produce is usually my less expensive and a better value for my customers. Especially when I have a budget for each box. All things being equal, if the same item is available in CA and in MX, and the prices are comparable then I always choose CA, every time!

I am a red blooded proud American and I buy American and support American farmers as much as humanly possible. I served in the Coast Guard for 10 years before I started this business and going to school! The reality of the situation though is that right now the weather in CA is cold and the produce has been poor quality and expensive. In order to offer the best variety and value I sometimes obtain the products my customers request from outside our region. Those items are always on our farm page and if they are from another country then I include the country code as well, which you will undoubtedly notice from now on! You will notice it on the display names of the items when you log into your account and see your box contents.

I will be the first to say that my service is not for everyone, but it is great for most people. I do not try to hide anything and am always up front and honest with my customers. This business is not all about making money but making a difference in the world and if my difference sometime includes organic produce from Mexico instead of GMO produce from the U.S. then so be it. There are many people out there who do not make a lot of money and what little money they do make they try to invest in themselves and their families by eating my healthy organic food. I feel I have a moral obligation to give them the highest quality produce at the best value and I think I do a pretty good job balancing all of these different variables.

I could honestly keep going about this and if you would like to talk on the phone or meet for a lunch to talk about this I would be happy to do that. I think I am just rambling now though and I think you should get the gist of what my reasoning is for everything.

Thanks again for your question and your business. I appreciate each and every single one of my customers and believe that by buying organic you are voting with your dollars which is what is needed to steer our future towards a better path. If you decide to switch to another CSA or farmers market then that is still great because in the end you are still making a difference in the right direction.