Eat our hearts out...

We, as humans, are constantly motivated by the question “Why”. Of all the questions out there (the Whos, Whats, Wheres, Whens), it’s the one the elicits the most interesting answers. Why are you here? Why do you get out of bed each morning? Why do you do what you do? Those are the questions that require more than just one word answers. The questions that end up with stories for answers.

Today we’re introducing you to our Vegan Cannibalism series - a project that has us collaborating with interesting people, hearing their sundry stories and creating boxes that are a reflection of their “Why”. Over the next many months, you’ll meet people from all over the world, read about their journeys, learn their perspectives and eat their stories.

In short, the theme of this year’s boxes is people. We’ll be eating people all year long.

So to kick it all off, we’ll start by answering that very basic question: Why Cropbox?

Some of you have been with us from the start of this journey, and some of you are just joining now. Either way, the answer to this question is an important one for us to get out there… If nothing else so that we have it to come back to as a reminder from time to time.

At the heart of it all, Cropbox exists to take care of people. That is our “Why”.

Your loving Cropbox team - the ones who brainstorm the menus, hand-draw the labels, painstakingly crimp dumplings, shape meatballs or season hummus, make weird (sometimes funny?) jokes in the newsletter, and pour positive energy and good vibes into every box - they just want to take care of people. And for all of them, taking care of people means providing for them. It means feeding them.

In a 1943 paper entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation,” American psychologist Abraham Maslow famously proposed his interpretation of humans’ hierarchy of needs. This theory is usually represented in a pyramid:

human needs_vegan stories

We recognize that this hierarchy is often used as a framework to discuss more serious issues that affect our economic, political and social environments. And we certainly don’t pretend that Cropbox solves the fact that many people struggle to meet the needs outlined at the base of the pyramid. But it is a special reminder that what we do satisfies basic needs. What we do, even on a micro level, is important.

Everyone eats. As this pyramid shows, food and eating is the base of everything else we, as humans, do. And only with food are we able to get to the other rungs of the ladder.

So yes, at the end of the day, it’s just a lunchbox. We know that, you know that. But we also know that if we look at it a different way, it’s something else entirely: It’s our expression of love and caregiving in one of the best ways we know how.

Since that is the Cropbox “Why” - our reason for existing - today’s box represents that through four essential elements we all need to exist: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Earth represents Christiane's heart, our kitchen mama who always wants something warm and earthy to eat and does NOT like chilled drinks.

Air is Dom's, free and breezy like the wind that blew her from the South African planes into our lives.

Fire represents the beat of Vince's heart, he hails from the tropics of Brazil, bringing a slow-burning warmth with him wherever he goes.

Water is Amanda's, representing the wispy waves of the ocean in her native California.

We are so excited and honored to continue taking care of you through food while simultaneously sharing other people’s reasons for existing for you to chew on, take into your own bodies and interpret for yourselves.

WHAT AN ADVENTURE. Thank you for joining us.

In the box today:

Earth: Roasted beet and parsley root with orange, cumin, maple and dill dressing

Air: Sweet potato and spring onion clouds with creamy zuchini raita and fresh chili

Fire: Slow-stewed Brazilian black beans in a baked tomato (one of our faves)

Water: Wispy raw Asian-style veggies, blanched broccolini and samphire salad with crispy garlic