Monday, April 28, 2008

food

I like food. Not in a I'll eat anything way, but in an I like good food way. I'm not a vegetarian, vegan, or non-red meat eater. I've heard arguments for all of these things, and I find myself being in the "all things in moderation" camp. Recently I picked up a book at the library that has me really thinking about food in ways I never imagined. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is a very worthy read. I'm about 2/3 of the way through and find it in my hands daily.

It's a story about a family that chooses to grow and eat food from local sources for a year. It's a personal story including recipes that make my mouth water. It also tells the story of agriculture and how it has turned into agri-business in a massive way. Some of it is pretty scary stuff. It also talks about the high cost of transporting food, and not just in dollars, but in food value. I never really gave any thought to where my food comes from before.

I live in California where nearly everything is raised, made, or grown. Then why in the heck does the milk I buy every week come from Illinois. There are dairies within 50 miles of here. I read labels today at the grocery store in search of California products. It makes sense to me that I should keep my dollars in my state and that my food will be fresher if it's local. The added bonus of saving the earth is there, too. We can't afford to waste fuel transporting food from other countries and states when it's all available here. Can you believe that the closest made cheese came from Oregon? This is crazy. I did find California milk, but paid almost twice the amount that Illinois milk cost. I bought California tomatoes and passed up the ones from Mexico. California Strawberries and passed up South American bananas. San Francisco bread and passed up New Jersey bread. I can't wait until the seasonal farmers market starts again, so I will have more options.

I really think that our food supply is linked to our health problems. It seems everyone I know is touched by cancer. This was not the case in my great granparents' generation. They ate the food they grew and canned. Eggs and milk came from their chickens and cows. We don't all have the opportunity to grow our own food, but there are farmer's markets everywhere. Take a moment to visit yours and talk to the growers and support them. The only way our food supply will get better is if we demand it with the way we spend our dollars.

8 comments:

LostLuggage said...

WELL SAID!!

Heather Grow said...

I got a t-shirt this weekend that was made in los angeles. I can't tell you how excited I was to see a california label on something. We are trying to grow a lot of fruit and veggies ourselves this year. Can't get any closer than your own back yard (and front yard for us.)

Good for you for taking a stand. And, he other good thing about locally grown is that they usually taste a lot better too.

ScrappyPam said...

Amen! The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan is another good book to read, if you haven't already. Sounds like it goes hand in hand with this one (which I now have to read!)

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Amen, Sister!!! You are speaking my language... We sell our meat at Farmers Markets.. that is my job!
I am like you.. I read labels..never buy from Mexico or Argentina, etc.. and we buy Organic milk & eggs... and try to shop on the 'fringe' - outer perimeter...of the store..
I have Barbara's book and Michael Pollan's books (he has 2 now)...
Try to find a local food co-op, or Whole Foods..You will find more local products there as well..there should be tons of cheese from CA!

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

P.S. The new buzzword is 'locavore'... eating local foods!

Michelle said...

good theory. We are pretty careful here too. I'm looking forward to growing some veggies soon now that Dyllan is almost 4 and can help out.

ps, I tagged you onmy blog!

Lesa said...

Thanx for the heads up - I will try to be more food label conscience.

Ethel Amutan said...

I completely agree! I KNOW our health problems are largely due to mass-produced, injected, laboratory grown food. It is utterly ridiculous how we have to pay for the extra costs added to importing food to our own States, when there is food growing locally.

On a side note......I know this is probably not the right thread, but I have nominated your blog to receive the Arte y Pico Award. Please read more about it on my blog.

Thank you for bringing this point to our attention. I think we should all be proactive about lobbying our government for less hormones and pesticides in our food, and also to support our local farmers.