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Our Sourcing Guidelines

Mrkbox criteria include foods that are whole, fresh, seasonal, local, organic, non-irradiated, and free from genetic modification. Understanding the realities of sourcing from multiple suppliers and sources, we recognize not all goals indicated here can be achieved within our current staffing and budgets. That said, this is our general four-tier decision tree of ethical food selection:

1. Local* & Organic

2. Local

3. Organic

4. Ethical Production Methods

*We define “local” as produced within 100 km.

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1. Local & Organic

Mrktbox prioritizes and pursues sourcing of local organic food, whenever possible, as our most cherished standard.

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2. Local Only

Even if the farmers in your area are not certified organic, but use more responsible, (e.g., no pesticides and practice organic practices), buying direct from small, local farms benefits the environment. 50% of the air pollution in N.A. is generated by motor vehicles. The less gas employed to bring your goods to you, the better (think bicycles!). Also, small farms tend to use more environmentally sound farming practices, because they have a bigger stake in the sustainability of their farm. From a culinary standpoint, fresh foods simply taste superior to older ones. Not only are the natural sugars and essential oils of most fruits and vegetables at their peak at picking, but the produce can also be picked at or close to perfect ripeness. Foods intended for shipping are intentionally picked unripe, so that they can withstand the slings and arrows of shipping.

Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables have a tender, more delicate texture, more appealing natural aroma and deeper taste than artificially ripened ones. Even if the farmers in your area are not certified organic, but use more responsible, (e.g., no pesticides and practice organic practices), buying direct from small, local farms benefits the environment. 50% of the air pollution in N.A. is generated by motor vehicles. The less gas employed to bring your goods to you, the better (think bicycles!). Also, small farms tend to use more environmentally sound farming practices, because they have a bigger stake in the sustainability of their farm. From a culinary standpoint, fresh foods simply taste superior to older ones. Not only are the natural sugars and essential oils of most fruits and vegetables at their peak at picking, but the produce can also be picked at or close to perfect ripeness. Foods intended for shipping are intentionally picked unripe, so that they can withstand the slings and arrows of shipping. Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables have a tender, more delicate texture, more appealing natural aroma and deeper taste than artificially ripened ones.

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3. Organic Only

All other factors being equal, we choose organic foods over conventional. The energy used to manufacture chemical fertilizer and pesticides is enormous, and the unintended effects of those chemicals can be terrible. We look forward to the day when organic production is considered mainstream, and pesticide/chemical fertilizer farming is the exception. Ethical shoppers will still opt for foods grown close to home, and everyone benefits from an overall cleaner environment.

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4. Ethical Production Methods

We believe in the fair treatment of animals. We purchase meat and other animal products from local farms that treat animals with consideration. We never buy from large factory farming operations. In fact, we try to visit every farm that we source animal products from to ensure that the animal husbandry practices are real. When buying from farms that are not local, we look for the “Certified Humane” label. We buy from small and medium size companies and try to avoid large corporations altogether.

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Support For Small Farms

Mrktbox supports small farms whose practices are more in harmony with nature, protect the land, support the local economy and ensure the integrity of our food supply for future generations.

 ~ Family owned

 ~ Less than $250,000 gross annual sales

 ~ The farm is the primary occupation of the farmer

 ~ The farmer has control over the farm’s main resources – land, animals, crops, genetic material, buildings, and machinery

 ~ The farming practices work with – rather than against – nature, using ecologically sound methods and balances that preserve the integrity of the land.

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