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We believe that food is at the heart of our most important relationships: to each other, to ourselves, to nature.

In building authentic relationships with our producers, employees and community, we’re completely transparent about how we operate and how we think about our work. Here’s a closer look at Good Eggs. We invite you to take a read and let us know what you think.

Why We Support Local Food

Because by supporting local food systems, we are casting a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. Local food systems are generally made up of small, independently owned farms and companies. Owners care about the quality of the + read morefood they’re producing, the land they tend, the people they’re employing and the communities they’re a part of. Producers and customers have direct relationships with greater accountability to each other.

Eating local food is an opportunity to encounter the diversity of flavors unique to a region and to a season. It’s a chance to remember that real people grow and make our food, and to recognize the value of their work. It’s a means of rejecting, three times a day, the passive, anonymous consumption of processed food that large corporations encourage.

We support local food systems because through the sheer act of eating food made with integrity—and delicious food at that! —we are made more aware, more nourished, more grateful and, in all senses, more alive.

Read more about why we think local food is cool.

What’s A Local Food System?
Local food systems are networks of locally-owned farms, small food businesses, commercial kitchens, warehouses, grocers, and all the people involved that feed a single region.
Shake the hand
that feeds you.
- Michael Pollan

What does it mean for you?

So, what does our mission have to do with you? Why does shopping from the farmers and foodmakers on Good Eggs beat going to the grocery store?

Better food

Our criteria and our focus on local sourcing mean you’ll always get the freshest, tastiest food around. You know where it came from, how it was made, and you can talk to the folks who made it.+ read more

Less hassle

You can cross this week’s groceries off your to-do list in a matter of minutes. No traffic, no lines, no supermarket shelves packed with endless marketing. Your time is once again your own.

More heart

We’ve created a network of people who genuinely care about getting you great food, and the impact of food choices on our communities and environment. The producers on Good Eggs are driven by passion and principle, not shareholder returns. Our team takes pride in going to great lengths to make sure you’re thrilled with your order—call us and you’ll talk to a real person who’ll listen and can help.

We are like one big food-loving family here.
- Gus, SF Bay Ops Team

What Kind of Organization Are We?

Mission-driven

When we started Good Eggs, we had a world of questions to answer. Everything from “How do we make it all work?” to “What’s for lunch?” As our team of five became a team of hundreds, the one thing that we’ve never questioned is why we’re here. + read moreEveryone at Good Eggs wants to change the world by changing the way we eat. And whether their impact is measured in lines of code or bushels of kale, everything we do is in service of our mission.

Grassroots

We’ve built Good Eggs to always be part of the communities we serve. Our city operations are independently run by teams of local folks who know their cities inside out. We help our producers form networks with each other, so they can share tips or ideas or equipment. By connecting customers with the folks who grow and make their food, we’re strengthening local communities and creating powerful, locally-based alternatives to the massive industrial food complex.

Enabling direct relationships

There was a time when we humans were all involved in farming or food production, or directly knew someone who was. And while it can be tricky to grow your own breakfast, lunch and dinner these days, there’s a reason it’s deeply satisfying to know the folks who are doing it for you. Knowing your farmer or baker or butcher leads to more accountability. It’s a reminder that food doesn’t sprout from grocery shelves, real people grow and make it. When you shop on Good Eggs, you’re shopping direct from producers in your community, people you can actually talk to about how your food was made—they’ll be glad you asked.

Good Eggs helped me turn my passion for bread baking into my job.
- Josey Baker, Breadmaker

Creating good food jobs

We’ve all worked crummy jobs. And although we can look back on them and laugh, at the time they were terrible. Unfortunately, the food industry can drag the concept of a crummy job to a whole new low with long strenuous hours, unsafe conditions and meager wages. We’re out to change that. Working at Good Eggs means healthy compensation and benefits, opportunities for advancement and a huge degree of ownership and purpose—not to mention free locally-sourced lunch every day. Everyone spends a day each month packing and delivering groceries, so we all stay connected to the operations of our company. And our values extend beyond our own walls: We ensure our producers use fair labor practices and treat all employees with dignity and respect.

Our Standards

We’re completely transparent about our practices, and we expect the same from our producers.

introduction

We have strong criteria for the food we carry, covering sustainability, fair labor practices, traceability, and of course, amazing taste. We guarantee that you'll be thrilled with your order. If not, let us know and we'll make it right.

Overarching Criteria

Good Eggs stands for integrity in the way we feed each other. As a farmer or foodmaker on Good Eggs you must exhibit care for the land, your community, and your food.

Every one of our producers and foodmakers must stand by these principles:

You serve your local community

You pay your employees and vendors fair wages and treat them with respect

You ensure environmental sustainability, especially by practicing or supporting sustainable agriculture

You know your suppliers and their practices

You’re completely transparent about your practices and ingredients

You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit.
- Joel Salatin

The Advantages of Local Food

As people get more of their food from local systems — systems built on caring for the land, animals and people in them — we believe that we’ll see real change. In fact, we already are.

Better eating

Local food is fresher when it gets to you so, naturally, it tastes better. Just-harvested fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, since they don’t hang around for days on a truck while their nutrients deteriorate. Local food is actually food — it’s not + read morecomprised of ingredients that read like a chemistry textbook. Our local meat, dairy and eggs come from ranchers who treat their animals with respect, giving them ample space to roam and food they’d naturally eat—raising healthier animals that are also better for us.

Local strength

From farmers’ markets to urban gardens to the neighborhood butcher shop, conversations and relationships are fueled by local food. Local food systems are generally made up of small, locally-owned businesses, with owners who care about the quality of the foods they’re producing, the people they’re employing and the communities they’re sustaining. Profits are reinvested in the local economy. When owners, employees, and customers share a common community, success for one is success for all.

Care for the environment

Our planet is the source of everything we eat. Opting for produce grown using polyculture, without harsh pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, means soil isn’t depleted of nutrients or left full of toxins. Avoiding factory farming means saying no to the inhumane treatment of animals and the enormous cesspools of waste it creates. Eating seafood that’s sustainably caught from nearby waters helps protect natural fish populations and keeps waters free of waste from fish farms.

Smarter consumers

With just a few giant mega-corporations producing the vast majority of the food in America, it’s pretty hard to ask questions about what we’re eating, much less get answers. Corporations have long benefitted from, and therefore encouraged, passive consumerism. But more and more, people are taking a closer look at what’s on their plates. We’re working to support new food systems that are transparent, built with integrity, and run by folks who are happy to stop and tell you how something was grown or made. Local food is traceable, empowering consumers to be more informed about what they’re eating and the choices they’re making when they buy.

Remembering the culture in agriculture

Once upon a time, we humans were intimately involved with every part of the farming process, from planting seeds all the way to ladling veggie stews onto our supper plates. Agriculture is at the heart of many of our common rituals, our idioms, and the set of unspoken expectations we all have for life’s unfolding cycles. Our exposure to food production makes the natural world, and the land in particular, feel more familiar. When we know our farmers, eat what grows near us, and taste the variations of the seasons, we are reminded and awed by one simple fact: that we live in direct connection to, and by virtue of, the natural world.

Eating is an
agricultural act.
- Wendell Berry

Why We Carry Some Non-Local Food

Local food is at the heart of everything we do, yet we also know that some household staples simply aren’t available from local sources.

The vast majority of products on Good Eggs are, and will always be, locally produced by independent local businesses. Local food is at the heart of everything we do, yet we also know that some household staples simply aren’t available from local sources.+ read more A home cook in New York will likely need lemons or olive oil, just as a cook in California may regularly use maple syrup. And everyone needs coffee.

The funny thing about being 100% local

We’ve realized that we’re most effective at helping our local producers grow their businesses if we can replace an entire trip to the grocery store for customers. Ironically, being too rigid about local sourcing actually hurts our local producers’ sales since customers have to go elsewhere for some items. So in order to grow local food systems, we supplement our local selection with some carefully-chosen products from a wider radius.

More good choices

We see this as a win-win: customers have better options and full transparency into where their food comes from so they can make informed choices, and small independent producers reach those customers who otherwise might have turned to industrially-produced food.

In all cases, our top priority is to source locally.

In all cases, we clearly indicate where all of our products are from, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and who grew or made it.

In all cases you shop directly from the producer, and we screen the producer to make sure they meet our criteria.

How Local is Local?

Good question. It’s not possible to have one sweeping definition of local, since different products and regions vary greatly. We find it most effective to focus on sourcing the highest-quality products from as nearby as possible. Sometimes that’s a few hours’ drive away, sometimes that’s right next door.

We love to talk about the joys and challenges of farming responsibly, so chat with us.
- May, Chris & Dusty, Say Hay Farms

How We Think Food Systems Should Work

Isn’t it weird that the food in chain grocery stores is the same whether you’re in Seattle or Miami? We think so.

Although farmers’ markets are sprouting up all over the nation, local food is still less than 1% of total agricultural sales in the U.S.+ read more We’re on a mission to change that—tenfold.

How? With local food hubs, and lots of them.

The Not-So-Super Market

Take a trip down any standard grocery aisle and you’ll encounter hundreds of different products from various brands. An endless amount of choice; or so it would seem. In reality, most of those products are all made by a handful of mega-corporations—even many of the “natural” brands are owned by the ConAgras and Coca-Colas of the world.

Options in the produce aisle are also slim pickings: much of the organic produce available in the U.S. is grown by just two enormous farms.

When the ownership of our food is in the hands of just a few, we are beholden to their choices rather than empowered to make our own. Think about the last time you took a road trip along a major highway and tried to find a place to eat. There’s no time quite like mealtime when the corporate influence on our lives feels most disappointing and most suffocating. As Wendell Berry says, “one reason to eat responsibly is to live free.”

The Broken System

Increasing consolidation of food companies happens because, not surprisingly, there’s big money to be made by focusing on efficiency and profits above all else. Unfortunately, nearly all the things that we hold dear are thrown by the wayside in this system. Nutrition, sustainability, taste—you name it, it’s deprioritized.

Vast monocultures of crops require heavy doses of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to keep producing high yields. CAFOs, or factory farms, raise animals in filthy, cramped conditions, relying on antibiotics to keep the animals from being sick. Produce varieties are chosen for uniformity and shelf-stability rather than flavor, since they have to withstand days in transit.

The current food system is one where food is picked unripe, trucked to massive warehouses, processed, packed, then trucked back out to grocery stores around the country. All while perfectly good, fresh food can be—and often is—grown in fields nearby.

Food hubs are the scaling up strategy for local food.
- National Good Food Network (NGFN) Report

The Alternative: Local Food Hubs

So how do you get great food from small and medium-size farms to people? Local and regional food hubs are leading the charge, proving to be effective at scaling local food distribution while operating in service of small producers.
+ read more

Wait, What’s a Food Hub?

Food hubs are entities—sometimes physical warehouses, sometimes logistical organizations—that help get local food to local people. They come in lots of shapes and sizes and may handle everything from aggregation to storage, processing, distribution or marketing. Over 60% of food hubs in the U.S. have started operating within the last five years, a promising sign of change.

Food hubs operate on the principle of cooperation, the simple premise that farmers and producers are stronger when they work together. They create local and regional networks for food, helping farms aggregate, distribute, and market their goods. By creating more direct channels for distribution, food hubs increase demand and help farmers get a better price for their goods.

And just as ecosystems benefit from biodiversity, food hubs help create a resilient food system by increasing the diversity of food sources. Threats to our food supply like food-borne illness from pathogens are greatly reduced when all of our spinach isn’t grown in the same field.

We envision a future where independent food hubs flourish, enabling local food producers to make a good living, and empowering consumers to—as Wendell Berry said—eat responsibly and live freely.

Some of our favorite books about food systems

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Foodopoly by Wenonah Hauter
The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

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