Health Hero: Chris and his CSA habit

Each Thursday this summer, King County Metro operator Chris Cappelletti packs up a fresh box of produce at Atlantic/Central base and buses or bikes it home. The local veggies come from farmers with Pike Place Market Farm to Go CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a partner in King County’s CSA @Work program. We asked Chris to talk about why he is a CSA subscriber and the other healthy habits that make him tick.

ChrisC_Metro_CSA
Metro Operator Chris Cappelletti poses with his two friends, spinach (left) and red dandelion (right)

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

How long have you been working for the county? In your current job?

I was hired as a part-time driver in May of 2015 and currently drive the 303 in the morning. I am also a woodworker at a shop in SODO, so I have remained part-time to leave time in my schedule for that work.

What is your work schedule like? What kind of things do you eat when you are on shift?

My work schedule is easier than most. I drive for close to four hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., with a sizable 20-30 minute break in the middle. This gives me time to stretch my legs and have a snack or coffee. Not all drivers are so lucky. I will usually eat some fruit or a sandwich. Never a full meal.

Had you participated in any CSA program before? What do you like about King County’s CSA option?

I have been involved with CSAs before, both as a producer and as a consumer. I’ve worked at farms in Washington state, Ireland, France, Spain and Japan, and the CSA model exists in some variety in each of those places too. The biggest difference between CSAs I’ve used in the past and the King County program has everything to do with the employer involvement and advocacy. I’ve never had an employer manage the process before, and I love it because it is one less thing for me to worry about when I’m away from work.

Can you tell me a little about how you stay healthy (eating habits, physical activity, stress-reduction, etc.)?

Generally, I stay healthy by avoiding most meats and processed foods (though I eat out at restaurants semi-regularly without a fuss) and by moving my body every chance I get. I don’t own a car, so I’m required to walk or cycle most places.

My bicycle is many things to me: a gym membership, a commuter vehicle, a recreational toy, and mental health care all in one. Similarly, I have always been enthused with the CSA model because of its multifaceted benefits. By committing to one purchase, I get fresh, local, seasonal produce AND I know my money goes straight to a farmer and stays in my community. To me, there’s really no downside. The price is right, and the food is delivered to the base where I work every week.

What is your favorite recipe?

I’m all about a hot bowl of buckwheat noodles (soba). I’ll add miso, tofu, julienned carrots, shredded daikon, dried seaweed, and sesame seeds on top. That’s a hard one to pull off in the bus, though…

Do you have a healthy habit to share? We want to hear about it! Email us at healthyincentives@kingcounty.gov

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