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  1. #1
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    Eating Local, Thinking Global (NPR)

    Was just perusing this thread car fossil fuels vs other fossil fuels where the OP makes the very good point that, if we are motivated to save fossil fuels, there are additional measures we should be taking above & beyond going car-free/lite.

    Then Roody brings up the idea of eating locally produced food. So I'm posting yet another link to an NPR segment I listened to last night. It is rather long.

    P.S. - I don't have good grocery shopping where I live right now. I tend to stop by a nearby Wholefoods (expensive organic) on my way home 1 - 2 times a week. The produce is wonderful but much of it travels great distances .

    I am trying to buy more from local farmers markets when I can. Another idea I should explore more is that of buying a food subscription. Has anyone here done that? In case you haven't heard of it this is when a nearby farmer agrees to sell his entire crop as shares to individuals. He produces a mixture of crops conducive to the area and, as they ripen, distributes them directly to his subscribers.

    And without further ado - here is NPR:

    Talk of the Nation, August 25, 2006 When you sit down to dinner tonight, take a minute to consider how far your food traveled to get to your plate. Is your steak from Nebraska? Are your carrots from California? Experts say eating locally might make us healthier and safer... and it would be better for the environment, too.

    Guests:

    Brian Halweil, author: Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket; senior researcher, Worldwatch Institute

    Jennifer L. Wilkins, Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow; Senior Extension Associate, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University

    Eating Local, Thinking Global

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    One figure that impressed me was from National Geographic. Suposedly, the city of Burlington, VT gets seven per cent of it's food supply from 100 acres of reclaimed land near a former city dump. That is simply amazing--especially in a region wih a very short growing season.

    If anybody from that area knows more details, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

    You can research "community supported agriculture" to find out more about farm shares. I was talking to a guy in Traverse City who is involved with this. Shares can be of various sizes for households with different needs. The shares are delivered, in this case, to distribution points in town. Actually going to the farm and working is strictly optional.


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  3. #3
    meep! legot73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    One figure that impressed me was from National Geographic. Suposedly, the city of Burlington, VT gets seven per cent of it's food supply from 100 acres of reclaimed land near a former city dump. That is simply amazing--especially in a region wih a very short growing season.

    If anybody from that area knows more details, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

    You can research "community supported agriculture" to find out more about farm shares. I was talking to a guy in Traverse City who is involved with this. Shares can be of various sizes for households with different needs. The shares are delivered, in this case, to distribution points in town. Actually going to the farm and working is strictly optional.
    We did this one year with a local organic farm. The produce was very good, but you really need to change your diet/menu to adapt to it as you get what they produce the most of. For instance, we got a lot more Kalorabi (sp?) than we could make use of, and not near enough tomatoes. The farms often offer recipies that make use of what they are producing, and you get some really nice things like honey on special occasions. All that I saw offered fresh eggs as a separate option for a good price.

    I prefer the farmer's markets to get what we usually eat, but you can't assume that everything there is any better than the grocery store, you need to learn a lot about how food is grown and what you do/don't want.
    Nothing says "in good times and in bad" like a good pair of fenders

  4. #4
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    One figure that impressed me was from National Geographic. Suposedly, the city of Burlington, VT gets seven per cent of it's food supply from 100 acres of reclaimed land near a former city dump. That is simply amazing--especially in a region wih a very short growing season.

    If anybody from that area knows more details, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
    Roody,

    I've lived in the Burlinton, VT area for the better part of nearly twenty years... that area is called the 'Intervale'... www.intervale.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs
    Roody,

    I've lived in the Burlinton, VT area for the better part of nearly twenty years... that area is called the 'Intervale'... www.intervale.org
    Interesting... I am almost certain that I read a clean water act case arising from the Intervale dump. Can't access it at present, but interesting to see that name crop up again in a positive light.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by legot73
    We did this one year with a local organic farm. The produce was very good, but you really need to change your diet/menu to adapt to it as you get what they produce the most of. For instance, we got a lot more Kalorabi (sp?) than we could make use of, and not near enough tomatoes. The farms often offer recipies that make use of what they are producing, and you get some really nice things like honey on special occasions. All that I saw offered fresh eggs as a separate option for a good price.
    I definitely prefer to yield my shopping/recipe decisions to the local farmer. If I'm getting too much lettuce, I'm not eating enough salad. It is interesting to face perceived shortages in the CSA share. Right now we've got 3 tomatoes and 1 pepper on the counter from the last 2 wks. That's got to be good for something, but I don't know what. The 1st tomato, 3 wks ago, went to caprese salad w/ the basil (I just needed to provide my own mozarella).

  7. #7
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Good subject! I'm very lucky where I live (nebraska), there is an abundance of crops and dairy products.

    For example, I love Organic milk. It just tastes better, and hormones scare me. Anyway I was buying the store brand (Hy-Vee) for awile but noticed a new brand on sale. Thought I'd give it a try, and took it home. Had a glass when I got home and was pleasantly amazed! It reminded me of drinking fresh milk when I used to visit Grandma in Wisconsin. Then I looked at the label.. and even more of the pleasant surprise kicked in. It was from a farm in Firth, NE - which is about 20 miles south of where I live. Excellent! It's my new brand, so what if it costs more.. it's just so much better.

    The same is true of meats. To get good meat, just visit a small town butcher. Plenty abound in this state, and they will be happy to tell you exactly where the cut you are purchasing came from. Hell, most will tell you which farm so that you can drive by and check it out yourself.

    Produce is abundant. Like right now, during the summer you can get produce on any rural road. And the folks selling it will be happy to tell you how they grew it.

    Finally, we have several markets in town that are very "local". My favorite is a fresh seafood market that we have. The owner has family on the Gulf Coast who go fish, then the same day ship the day's catch up to him on a FedEx plane. The fish is never frozen, and you can DEFINITELY tell. The shrimp you get there is 3x larger and tastes so much better than what you get at the local supermarket.

    Anyway, my favorite subject. I'm a huge fan of organics and locally produced food.

  8. #8
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs
    Roody,

    I've lived in the Burlinton, VT area for the better part of nearly twenty years... that area is called the 'Intervale'... www.intervale.org
    Thanks so much. What an inspiring story! The possibilities for other areas are great.

    Eating local organic food is probably as important as being carfree. I'm "hungry" to learn more tips and ideas for this......


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Thanks so much. What an inspiring story! The possibilities for other areas are great.

    Eating local organic food is probably as important as being carfree. I'm "hungry" to learn more tips and ideas for this......
    I visit the berry farm to pick my own when I'm in the area... discounts are given to people on alternate forms of transportation... raspberries should be coming into season now... yummy!
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs
    I visit the berry farm to pick my own when I'm in the area... discounts are given to people on alternate forms of transportation... raspberries should be coming into season now... yummy!
    I just bought a quart of raspberries at the Allen St. Farmers Market. I also bought pork chops, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, marjoram, and peppers. I also ate a plate of pad thai catered by a local restaurant. Everything organic, everything grown within 15 miles of my house in the inner city (except for maybe some ingredients in the pad thai ). And of course I rode my bike there!

    I do hope that those who care enough to be carfree, also care enough to choose organic, locally produced food whenever possible. I can't tell you how fun it is to seek out and buy this kind of food. The person who sells you the food can also tell you how to store it and cook it, and something about how it was grown. Ther is a warm feeling of community at a farmer's market. A few weeks ago, I sat down to eat my pad thai and ended up talking to staffers at the local bicycling association. Today, i sat by a lady who was interviewing people for volunteer positions with a local non-profit.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody

    I do hope that those who care enough to be carfree, also care enough to choose organic, locally produced food whenever possible.
    ditto... and even better if 'locally' is the back yard

  12. #12
    Pedal Power!
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    It's very difficult in our biggest supermarkets to find local organic food. It's crazy these places are supporting organic farmers in other parts of Europe and the world. Surely any environmental benefit has been negated by a journey of at least several hundred miles? What is even more frustrating is when they supply foreign food that it is in season and growable locally! Lost is the freshness (my favourite example of this being sun-warmed tomatos, straight from plant to mouth) but added is unnecessary plastic packaging!

    We buy about 80% of our food from a local farmers market and grow some veges in the back garden, but the garden is small so more of a hobby than a serious attempt at self-sufficiency. I've not heard of any 'farm share' schemes over here, but i will look into it now.

  13. #13
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    I've got two farmer's markets in my area, I really ought to visit them more often. It's just too bad that they're so popular, that people descend like vultures and scoop up all the good stuff by 8am on Saturday morning. Bah.
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