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Find Local Food

It was shirts I wrote about yesterday in reaction to news about the newly researched impact on air quality from overseas shipping. Of course, it’s not just shirts that are shipped.

Much of the food that’s available in grocery stores, especially in the wintertime arrives in the United States by boat. Those big boats spew a lot of pollution into the air, it turns out, and so even if they bring nutritious vegetables to our stores, they end up harming our health.

A big domestic source of food for the United States has been California. However, conditions consistent with climate change predictions are withering California’s agricultural production. California is suffering such a prolonged drought that huge numbers of farmers there are deciding not to even bother planting their fields this year. Just as the rotten economy plunges to new depths, we can expect a lot of our food to become more expensive pretty soon.

local harvest logoWhat are we to do? Look closer to home for your food. Eat more local.

Maybe you don’t know how to go about that. One way is just to pay more attention at the grocery store, looking for the few foods that your conventional grocer gets from your area.

A more direct approach is to go to a kind of grocery store of local food sources: Local Harvest. Local Harvest is a site that allows people to search for markets that emphasize local food, and for farmers and food artisans who sell directly to people who intend to eat their food. Search for your zip code, and you may be surprised to find out what’s close to you.

There’s much less shipping involved when it comes to local food, so when you eat local, you’ll be taking some pressure off the very climate change engine that’s baking California’s fields dry. You’ll also be recycling money through your local economy, where it will have a much greater impact than money that’s sent off to a big corporation that dumps its reserves into offshore tax shelters.

Besides that, local food is usually more fresh than food that’s been shipped thousands of miles, so while you’re doing good, you’ll be eating good too.

1 comment to Find Local Food

  • Tom

    Since it looks like i’m not going to have much summer work, i’m planting a large garden, starting as soon as the weather breaks (probably late March, early April). You are so right to suggest DO WHAT YOU CAN and BUILD COMMUNITY. Otherwise, we’ll probably end up killing each other off in a no win chaotic melee when things start really going to hell.

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