Monday, September 12, 2011

Buying Local

My friend Marissa, over at We*Meat*Again just posted a good reminder to us all about how buying locally doesn't always mean buying organically or ethically.

Remember, if you're opting for local and have the opportunity to talk to farmers about their practices you should do so. Or visit the farm, if that's an option. Visiting a farm will tell you even more than just talking to your producer, because you can see how workers are treated, what types of conditions animals are kept in, etc.

Jackson, WY Farmers Market
But you also have to weigh, as Marissa points out, buying local & conventional versus buying organic and imported from somewhere else. What you decide might depend on your budget, where you live (and availability) and even just your desires of the day. It's okay to have that organic kiwi once in a while, probably, but it maybe shouldn't be a daily habit.

In Diet for a Hot Planet, Anna Lappe (daughter of Frances Lappe) talks about how we could reduce, dramatically, our carbon-footprint just by changing the way we eat. I've just started to read this book so I won't comment on it much yet, but this is something to consider, especially as we finish up Eat Local America. Eating locally and lower on the food-chain both help reduce the carbon footprint. But so does eating minimally processed products, adopting week-day vegetarianism, and many other options.

Just a side note, Moving Planet is coming up on September 24th. The basic premise: we should move more and rely on fossil fuels for transportation less. That oversimplifies it a bit. But it leads to my point nicely -- if you can (and I grew up in a city where it was damn near impossible to do what I'm about to suggest) walk or bike (or skateboard, or whatever) to your market--super or farmers--the next time you need to pick a few things up. And try to choose groceries that didn't spend too long on a truck, if you can.

Tomatillos at Farmers Market in Jackson, WY

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