A push for affordable, farm-fresh Asian veggies

Greens from the CSA | APIOPA website"Why is it cheaper, more convenient to buy fast food or go to a local liquor store than it is to get fresh, healthy and affordable produce?" the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Alliance (APIOPA) asks this question in a new video, while flashing images of supermarkets and convenience stores around Alhambra. 

The video promotes an effort to connect an organic farmer specializing in Asian vegetables with local residents through a Community Supported Agrigulture (or CSA) initiative.

"Our goal is to not only get healthy, affordable produce in to the hands of community members," the group explains on its website, "but we are also trying to support local small businesses AND cut down on carbon emissions (purchasing local produce versus purchasing produce that needs to be shipped from across the country or even across the globe!).

Raquel Trinidad from Special Service for Groups shows off her new mustard greens. | APIOPA website The initiative — which features Asian vegetables such as baby bok choy, gai lan (Chinese brocoli), or yu choy (Chinese greens), along with produce more familiar to traditional American grocery stores such as tomatoes and squash — is open to Los Angeles residents of all backgrounds. The farmer the group partnered with, Mr. Cha, is based in Fresno and travels to the Montrose Farmer's Market weekly. He is a native of Laos of Hmong background and incorporates traditional farming techniques in his work. Representatives from the organization pick up produce from Cha in Montrose, and then distribute it from its offices in downtown LA and that of Asian Pacific American Legal Center, with intentions to expand to other sites.

More information is available on the APIOPA website.

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