Monday, March 23, 2009

Locally Grown

I am in New Mexico for a couple of weeks helping out my Siren sister. The desert is so dry this year, the drought continues. How do you eat good food that is locally produced in a place where there is no water? If we are to effect the carbon emissions created by growing food and getting it to market, we need to eat food grown within 100 miles of where we live. I would have to do more research to add scientific validation to my claim, but I think it would be difficult to do this winter in this very dusty place unless you are willing to give up most everything.

We went to a local organic grocer the other day and had the choice of buying stuff grown in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico in the produce department. We did manage to find some things grown in California, but nothing that was grown anywhere within the 100 mile limit. No tomatoes, no berries, no avocados, no lettuce, and no lemons or limes. These things are staples in the diet of the people who live here. What are they supposed to do?

It is challenging to change the way we look at the food we buy, or what we grow. When I stand in the produce department, I am no longer faced with just two questions, is it organic and is it fresh. Now, I must check to see where it was grown. I believe I will be doing a lot of drying of fruit we pick this summer so we can have some at that time when the fresh berries are flown in from thousands of miles away. Same with bananas.

It is work, but it is worth it. I know that if enough of us change the way we think about not only what we eat, but where it comes from, we can make a positive impact on the health of this planet. Although I feel for the people who are trying to grow food in this dry, sand lot of a state. It's no wonder I moved.

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