The Local Food Choice
By Sharon Richards
From Issue 1: Winter 2009
You’ve heard it before: eat local food. So, is this another food fad with a trendy environmental twist, or something worthy of our consideration? At the root of the matter is this: if we choose to ignore our ability to grow our own food locally, and instead buy the bulk of our nourishment from distant sources, the local farm and it’s regional knowledge will go away. Ok, so what’s the big deal you ask?
No local food systems means that food has to be mass-produced (and controlled) by relatively few, then shipped from afar, passing through many hands before it reaches you. The repercussions of that may be loss of open space, less healthy food with chemical preservatives, overuse of pesticides along with depleted mono-cropped soils, loss of food security and the over-extension of fossil fuels as well as all of the earth’s natural resources. However far off it may seem, ultimately, this type of pending food system has a strong potential to leave our fast growing population—with little earth-based knowledge—needing to feed itself and hopelessly dependent on…who?
This does not sound very cheery. Alas, take a deep breath and smile, things are not so bleak and we as humans have an amazing capacity to embrace change. Right here in Gardiner there is EatLocalFood.org, a strong local food network to counter some of the unbalanced potentials of an industrialized food system. Although eating locally does not hold all the answers, it does empower our right of choice, the choice to maintain open space, preserve the land, steward the earth, directly influence how our food is produced and know exactly what we are eating.
EatLocalFood.org makes this choice even easier and more convenient. Everything related to eating locally has been gathered into one place—find local food from local farmers, join a CSA, grow a garden, save your seeds and relearn skills like food preservation or cooking from scratch. Neighbors helping neighbors. Now, that not only sounds hopeful, it’s inspiring, rooting and a whole lot of fun as well.
Take a moment to visit EatLocalFood.org. Help maintain all of the riches Gardiner and the surrounding area have to offer. Local food is not a fad, it is a choice filled with great positive potential for the future—a promising, empowering choice worth our consideration.