Thursday, May 03, 2007

Eat locally

One of the ideas that most grabbed me from Teresa Heinz Kerry's blog tour last week was her advocacy of eating locally produced food. It's not that the concept hadn't occurred to me before this. Wandering the produce aisles of the local stores you can't help but notice that you can eat Chilean grapes all winter long, as well as berries and melons of all kinds. A while back I had read an article on pesticide residue found on produce. After reading the list I stopped buying imported grapes.

But with the added knowledge of the great spinach debacle of '06, the
peanut butter salmonella outbreak, and the ongoing issue of chicken contamination a person might think long and hard about where the food they put in front of their family might be coming from.

And then there's the hideous melamine pet food poisoning (thanks, China!), which has now made its way into the human food chain via hogs and chickens.

All of which leads me to the following conclusions.
  • Why do we have an FDA if it can't monitor the quality of the food we eat? And after all this, does anyone trust that the FDA is capable of doing its job?
  • Why on earth would we be importing food - or food components - from China?
  • Support local food producers. Shop at farmers' markets when you can.
Teresa Heinz Kerry
    The markeplace can also be very important for driving change. Purchasing locally grown and organic products drives demand for those products, allowing the producers to thrive and expand, and encourages more producers to enter the market, thus making healthier products available to more consumers. For the environment, that means lower transportation costs (less pollutants) in the air, and for the consumer it means fresher food.
Related item of interest in today's Salon.

[UPDATE]: 210K has an excellent post on the same subject, including some ace reportage.

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