Hi! My name is Danielle and I started Illuminate Food with the goal of helping to get more food from local farms in NJ/NY to people. I started my website Illuminate Supply Chains to help educate myself and other eaters about where our food comes from and how to decipher the various labels around food and environmental impact. Prior to this crisis, I was thinking about ways to help connect people in more urban areas with their local farms. As the world changes around us, the one thing that is consistent is our need to buy food and the question has now become where can we get it safely and reliably. Our local farms can do both and with the help of Zone 7, an NJ distributor who works with small-scale, local farms, I can help connect us to these farmers.
The Farm Box
The idea is to use the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model where each box is the same, as I believe this is the best way to support our farmers and deliver as many boxes as I can.
The box includes around 6-8 seasonal veggies and fruit, milk, eggs, yogurt or cheese, 1-2 specialty goods and fresh bread from Liv Breads in Millburn.
I include customized recipes each week and there is a Facebook group to share recipes and tips with each other.
I have also been partnering with other local makers and restaurants to support their businesses. For example, I have included a jerk sauce from HLS, pies from Three Daughters Bakery, salt from Saltopia and oats from River Valley Community Grains.
How Does it Work?
The box will be delivered every Wednesday and you can choose the one time box option or sign up for a subscription and get the box weekly or every other week.
What Illuminate Food Means to Me
With a background in global trade and supply chains, I started to learn more about how food is grown and traded all over the world and how not only is it challenging financially to be a farmer, it is also challenging to have access to good quality produce.
When I started to connect the dots about how the food we eat not only effects our health, but also has an environmental impact as well as an impact on communities who grow, harvest, process, distribute and sell it, I had to learn more. I started my website as a way to educate myself because finding answers to where our food comes from is not simple.
This past year has felt like a crash course on food systems. I feel driven to deliver much of what I've concluded to my fellow consumers. I truly believe changing the food system will have many ripple effects and these solutions don't come with new technologies like block chain or hydroponics, but rather in the repair of the relationships to our food. I will be using this platform to connect eaters to producers so that more of us can join in on the local/regional and alternative food systems happening all around us.
Check out My Podcast