To sum up and add some odd thoughts that do not fit well anywhere else. The reason that eating locally beginning with growing your own vegetables is that the corporate farms ship food around the world. Raspberries from Chile, Peppers to China, and Bananas from Central America…Not to mention coffee from everywhere. All this takes incredible amounts of energy, to the point where we are literally drinking oil. This is just wrong. I could go on about how, it is good for you and tons of other stuff but this column’s about energy.
Environmental Cost of
Shipping Groceries Around the World
Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya.
In the United States, FreshDirect proclaims kiwi season has expanded to “All year!” now that Italy has become the world’s leading supplier of New Zealand’s national fruit, taking over in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.
Food has moved around the world since Europeans brought tea from China, but never at the speed or in the amounts it has over the last few years. Consumers in not only the richest nations but, increasingly, the developing world expect food whenever they crave it, with no concession to season or geography.
The Cost Of Food Transportation
The creation and implementation of the Department of Homeland Security has intensified the quest to make the nation’s food supply more secure.
That effort along with consumer demand is encouraging the development of an alternative agricultural economy, one that is less dependent upon imports.
Advocates of the local food movement argue that sourcing food grown closer to home would avoid the potential of terrorist contamination.
They also note a more intensive local food economy would conserve much of the massive amount of energy that is currently expended to transport food.
A visit to the local Midwest grocery store which sells tangerines from South Africa, apples from New Zealand, boxes of bananas from Costa Rica and asparagus from Mexico confirms it is truly a global marketplace.
Even for grapes grown in the U.S., the produce can still be trucked hundreds of miles to Midwest or East Coast markets.
If you have extra produce donate it to the local foodbank:
Posted October 8th, 2008 by Dori Fritzinger
We have all been there. Our little garden produces great big yields, more than we can use. You have canned all your
pantry (and you) can handle, and
given away enough that your family and neighbors hide when you come to their door with vegetables. Do not let that last fresh produce spoil! Donate it to your local food bank!
Call your local food bank and ask if it takes fresh produce donations. If so, find out on what days and times. If not, ask if they have the number of a local charity that does. Times are hard all over, with prices rising like they are, and we can each do a little to help. Believe it or not, it adds up and can truly make a great difference in someone’s life.
Pick your produce fresh the day you plan to deliver it. Wash it well. Pick through and discard spoiled pieces or parts. Place your produce in containers that will be easy to lift and carry. If you can leave the containers, it will save time for the charity volunteers and you. With a permanent magic marker write your name, address, and phone number on the bottom to identify your baskets. Many food banks will hold onto your containers and give them back empty when you stop in again.
If you have extra produce, sell it or barter it at a local Farmer’s Market:
Should You Sell Your Extra Produce at a Farmers’ Market?
By Andy Larson
Small Farms Specialist
Iowa State University Extension
We are approaching that time of year when Iowa home gardeners have more tomatoes, green beans and zucchini than they can use. The recent buzz about local foods makes you wonder, “Could I make a few bucks selling my extra produce at a farmers’ market?”
The answer may not be as simple as you think…
The number of farmers’ markets has skyrocketed, but few markets are so loosely organized that they allow anyone with a vehicle and a table to sell food. Most markets are administered by a market association with a market master who can provide rules as well as a vendor application.
Market documents should detail
hours and season of operation,
what kind of vendors may sell and whether they may sell only products they produce,
what types of products may be sold,
necessary permits or licenses required, and
the schedule of fees.
Guidelines are established with the safety of the customer and the character of the farmers’ market in mind.
Occasional selling at farmers’ market
Some markets have daily vendor rates. There are a few things to consider before spending six or seven hours of your weekend trying to sell excess produce.
Give it or sell it to a local grocery store.
Grocery stores that sell local produce in NYC?
I try to get to GreenMarket a couple times a week, but since I mostly only have nights free I don’t get to the farmer’s markets nearly as often as I’d like. I’m new to the city and am wondering if anyone knows of grocery stores (preferably in the East Village area, but not necessary) where I can buy local, organic produce and meats. The only local produce Whole Foods on 14th has right now is onions… Thanks for the help.
Give it directly to the poor themselves. That’s right find a poor family and give it to them. OR go to a social service agency and have them match you up to a family.
ODDs and INS
Do not burn your YARD WASTE, including garden clutter! Please pretty please…
Seeds from last year – toss them in the river or by the roadside. Give them a chance to grow. I toss sunflower seeds in my compost pile and they go nuts all summer long.
Buy a good juicer and use it. No cooking and very little prep-time. Health. It is a no brainer.
Don’t forget the herbs. Open your pantry door and take out all of that rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley, cilantro, dumb garlic products, and many other herbs. Throw them on the compost pile. Fresh is BEST.