Eating local, another way to help slow global warming
Vast amounts of pollution from fossil fuels are released by the transportation of such foods as Chilean grapes to Chicago, peppers from South Africa to South Dakota and tomatoes from California to New York. As oil prices rise significantly from political turmoil and war or when we gradually run out of oil, food will become more and more expensive in both dollar amount and the cost is ecological damage. Who will be willing to pay $25.00 for a bag of tomatoes?
Eating local solves much of this problem. Local foods often may not be cheaper currently, but buying local foods certainly reduces the cost of negative environmental impact that factory farming and shipping food from thousands of miles away brings. Estimates suggest that the average produce item travels 1,500 miles to get from farm to your table. Transportation’s greenhouse emissions are not factored in to the true cost of the food you eat as well as the cost of other adverse environmental impacts from factory farms.
Local foods can be fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious than can fresh foods shipped in from distant locations. Even though the food appears fresh in the supermarket – often nutrition is lessoned by the time it reaches your table. Industrial growers are often place greater concern with how well the produce can be shipped and still look good rather than how nutritious and flavorful it is.
Buying local food is increasingly becoming more popular and there are many great resources to address questions and concerns available that we will discuss.
In some areas of the country, like California, there are challenges to only eat food grown within 100 miles. But what about us folks who live in the northern regions – where for several months of the year there are few foods growing outdoors. A great Grist article linked here talks about this issue and discusses greenhouses that will allow foods to be grown during winter months. But if you buy your food at a farmer’s market (good link to a site for locating local farmer’s markets) how can you best keep this food year round? This is where “green gadgets” can help. Canning, Drying, Freezing, Pickling and other preserving can become a great small business for people locally or a traditional skill set that many will need to reconnect with. Here are some links that will enable you to get starting with tools and information about eating local and storing your food.
Canning Pantry.com is dedicated to providing quality canning supplies & other kitchen products for canning, pickling, cooking, baking & more. They offer one of the largest selections of canning equipment, pickling supplies, blenders, juicers, and dehydrators. They offer free recipes and canning technique articles.
EatLocalChallenge.com is a group blog written by authors who are interested in the benefits of eating food grown and produced in their local foodshed.