Blog | July 6, 2015

Introducing our new co-op, Kara Thibault

As a Portland, Oregon native, I can appreciate the importance of ethically and locally grown food. In fact, growing up, I wasn’t even phased by someone in a restaurant asking which specific farm a chicken came from (have you seen that Portlandia episode? — yeah, that really happens) or taking a school trip to the farmers market.

I was fortunate to grow up with this notion that local is better and farmers are friends.

Imagine my surprise when I packed up my belongings and trekked across the U.S. to Boston, only to realize that my new friends had never purchased fruit from a homemade stand on the side of the road or helped their friends with their Saturday morning weeding chores. For the first time, I was fully cognizant of the power and benefits that come hand-in-hand when people support family farmers and in turn, farmers support people with delicious and healthy food, sold just the way Mother Nature intended it to be.

Recently, I found out I have a gluten, egg and yeast allergy (the holidays should be fun this year…) and with that, I have developed a completely new perception of food. I am forced to pay more attention to what food I am putting on my plate and I want that food to come from a place I can trust. Also, it’s easy to notice how great my body feels when I am giving it top-of-the-line fuel instead of yucky junk that makes me feel ready for a nap at 10 am. My new diet is very produce-heavy and as such, making sure I am eating organic products free of any hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, etc., is something I can’t afford to ignore. I’ve always been an advocate for family farmers, but now more than ever, I feel like joining Farm Aid could not come at a better time in my life.

Apart from telling anyone who will listen to me how great Oregon, is I am interested in homeopathic medicine (my previous internship was at a naturopathic clinic in Portland), attempting DIY projects (why don’t they ever turn out like the Pinterest photos?!), indoor cycling, reading anything I can get my hands on, Broadway showtunes and British boy bands. While I am on a break from classes, I am looking forward to pursuing all of these things further – especially learning more about how to use food as medicine and trying to secure some prime One Direction concert tickets!

As a senior in the Journalism program at Northeastern University, I am still unsure of what the future holds for me. Everyday I wake up and have some new, grandiose idea for what to do next and my mother has been very patient and kind while she listens to each minute detail about my rapidly changing life plan. I don’t know much about how the next few years will shape up but I do know one thing; whatever I do, I will make sure I am passionate about it. One of my favorite quotations by designer Vera Wang embodies this:

“When you have a passion for something then you tend not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.”

I am very passionate about the work being done here at Farm Aid. I think that for much too long our agriculture industry has been overgrown by corporate “weeds,” and people who fail to acknowledge not only the importance and necessity of locally and organically grown food, but also the hard working farmers who provide us with such an incredible service with far too little pay. I am thrilled to be a part of such an amazing organization and I can’t wait to get started on what is sure to be a fantastic journey.

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