Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Foodsheds and Farmers...

Continuing with my San Fran theme....I read an article from the San Fran Chronicle about a challenge to only eat food within your foodshed. Basically, that means, only eat food that was grown within 100 miles of where you live.

Wow. That is some serious challenge.

However, it got me thinking. I mean really thinking about the way we view our food. For awhile I was really congratulating myself on eating organic. I thought I was so neat, so environmentally conscious, such a "hip" mom. This was certainly a wake-up call.

Sustainable agriculture is different than organic. It used to be that when I bought organic, I could almost always tell you what farm it was from. Now, organic foods come from all over and from really big, really commercial farms. Which, of course, makes it more affordable...more mainstream.

But in order to really "sustain" small farmers and our makes so much more sense to buy from local farmers and to eat "in season." It's the way we were meant to eat. I want to give small farmers my money, I really do. I don't want to support the Walmarts and the Starbucks of the organic world. I want to support the guys like my stepdad who struggle to make ends meet because he's busy growing the crops that feed the cattle that he refuses to give antibiotics or grown hormones to. The guys who can't afford to certify themselves organic, but they know their cows and feed them everyday.

So after reading this I've decided that I will go to the Trader's Point Farmer's Market every Friday until it closes for the season. I will teach my kids about where their food comes from. I will make every effort to eat within my foodshed and within the season.

Why? Because I think it's best for my body, for my kids bodies and for the earth I live on. Because it makes sense to support local farmers.

Dare I challenge you to do the same?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first read about the challenge to only eat food with your 'foodshed' I thought that’s a very doable idea. But as I read the article printed in the San Francisco Chronicle I realized how challenging it really was. Especially finding veggies. Living in the midwest. I wonder what veggies are in season in January in Indiana?

I have been a proponent for many years of voting with your dollars. I make a conscious effort to support the local mom and pops. If I have the choice of saving 50 cents at Wal Mart or supporting a locally owned proprietor I will always vote local. Yes, I am a small business owner and really appreciate my customers who chose to shop with our store. While I do have a bias I have a strong belief in supporting our local food suppliers and businesses. I don't mind driving out of my way even with gasoline costing a pretty penny these days. It’s worth it. Have you really thought where your dollars are being spent? That's food for thought.

Being in the food business I have been an organic supporter and user for a long time. Never thought much about 'sustainable' food till now but its a very sensible thing to do. And if it’s organic, super. Now I will make an even stronger effort to eat within my foodshed. It’s the right thing to do for plenty of reasons. I hope more and more people will think about their food options too.

Dr Indy Jones

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I have not read it yet, the current issue of Gourmet Magazine (not sure what month it is, July or August- it has a blueberry dessert on the cover) has an article about living in Vermont and eatling local all year long. There must be references to freezing fruits and veg for those winter months when local produce is nowhere in sight!

10:26 AM  

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