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Friday, March 23, 2007

Seeing green: when eating your spinach pays off

From Kitchen Gardeners International

"The Capital Times of Wisconsin recently reported that a local insurance company has started offering offering rebates to policy holders who are members of a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. The insurance company's new Eat Healthy Rebate subsidizes CSA memberships by $100 for single policyholders and $200 for families. Kathryne Auerback, the company's director of marketing, came up with the idea in part because she is a CSA member herself. She has been exposed to vegetables she wouldn't have otherwise tried: fennel, dandelion greens, and kohlrabi. The program - likely the first of its kind - has the potential to expose CSAs to a whole new community that may not be familiar with them, Brown said. "It's not only innovative but it sets an amazing precedent for other health insurance companies across the country that may realize that a fresh, healthy and local diet leads to healthier lifestyles and a stronger community." It also opens the door to other similar ideas. If insurance companies are prepared to offer rebates for healthy eating, shouldn't that also apply to those who grow their own food? While we're at it, if more and more states are considering offering tax breaks to those who install renewable energy systems in their homes, shouldn't those states also entertain the idea of tax breaks for residents with renewable food systems? That is, after all, what an organic kitchen garden is."