You have to think that Modern Farmer’s Jesse Hirsch was as surprised as anyone would be to find himself writing this sentence: “CrossFit members could be vital for the future of sustainable agriculture.” But when you think about it, it makes sense. As one farmer/nutritionist puts it to Hirsch, “These people are paying a lot of attention to what they put in their bodies.”

And most of what they put in their bodies is exactly what you’d find in many a CSA or farmers market: lots of veggies, lots of eggs, lots of meat. Hirsch:

Instructors often promote some version of a protein-rich Paleo diet. Modeled on the menus of our caveman ancestors, this diet eschews grains and processed foods, in favor of vegetables, eggs and a lot of meat. … Like the free-range game of our Paleolith forefathers, livestock should feed on grass — not grains, growth hormones and antibiotics. In other words, supermarket meat won’t cut it.

And so Crossfit gyms are working to make it easier for their members to eat grass-fed meat. They start CSAs. They partner with local farmers. Some Crossfit devotees have become local farmers themselves. And you can quibble with the decision to focus your diet so heavily on meat, but assuming you’re a Crossfit obsessive who is going to go ham on some protein no matter what anyone says, it is vastly preferable for you to be buying sustainable meat than the alternative.

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