It's time for another installment of eating local!
A timely article was published by David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, and the co-author of the Eat This, Not That series of books and articles, which, though not directly related, supports the locavore movement.
9 Scariest Food Facts Click the link to read the full article. In it you will see that "... out of every dollar you spend on food, only 19 cents goes toward the stuff you eat. The other 81 cents goes toward marketing, manufacturing, and packaging."
That is wrong on so many levels. More levels than I want to delve into today, but think about that...if you spend $3.00 on a bag of chips less than .60 cents of that is for the actual cost of the FOOD. The dollars and cents just don't work out...at least not for the eating public.
Eating local means you pay less for packaging, shipping and advertising. Sure, you may pay a bit more for your food, but that is because you are paying an actual *realized* cost to the grower, not a subsidized cost. Remember, the government subsidizes farmers in this country, and in other countries mega agribusiness does not pay living wages to their growers and pickers. That is why we have unions in this country...right? Hmm...a subject for another day.
You will also see "Grocers don’t have to tell you where your produce comes from." Do you have any idea where those tomatoes actually were grown? Who grew them? What process did they use? What about those peaches? And of course...the bananas? E-coli has affected tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, peanut butter, beef, turkey and bean sprouts in recent memory...do you really want to eat bean sprouts from Germany? How will you know?
How do you feel about eating fruit soaked in pesticides? Sounds YUMMY, right?
According to the article, peaches are "...routinely soaked in chemicals in the weeks before being shipped off to the supermarket." Mmmm...tasty pesticides!
Have you checked out The Dirty Dozen? It is a list of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. Take the list with you the next time you go shopping and try to purchase organically grown fruits and vegs on this list, even if you can't afford all organic.
The list includes: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, (imported) nectarines, (imported) grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale/collard greens.
Buying locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic when possible, planting your own little garden, and avoiding mass produced, chemically laden foods, are all ways that you can help the environment, your local farming community and your health! Win Win Win!
As for us, here is what was on our local menu yesterday:
For breakfast my blueberries and yogurt were locally grown and produced. For lunch my cottage cheese was locally produced and the tomatoes were from my own garden. Chris had some sweet pepper on his sandwich, and some cherry tomatoes and raw carrots to snack on, all from the garden.
I made a pasta dish and side salad. The sauce consisted of tomatoes, garlic and dried tomatoes from the garden, along with a locally grown onion. There is also basil and two kinds of parsley from my garden tossed in there. The salad is Fresh Express from Salinas, California, which is more local to me than a lot of people, but not "local". The lemon cucumber and carrot are from my own garden.
Are you having a locavore meal today? Do you care about where your food comes from? Or is it not a concern to you? Let me know in the comments!