Thursday, May 13, 2010
You have been hearing a slow but steady drumbeat about buying from your local farmers market. When I was a boy my parents did this out of habit but because of supermarkets we became accustom to one stop shopping. Here's the deal; the average supermarket vegetable travels about 1300 miles from farm to table. That's a lot of fossil fuels and emissions for one carrot.
If every family spent just ten dollars a week on local food in a mid sized city area like Hampton Roads Virginia (where I live) that would equate to 1.37 million dollars a year kept in our community.
Supporting the long standing tradition of farming and fishing communities is a way to make those communities stronger and its the right thing to do. We are loosing more and more land to development especially in our coastal communities. Supporting and buying local would help stem that tide. Who doesn't want more farm land in their communities?
But most of all the local family farm produce is fresher and has been treated with fewer chemicals and some boast none at all. Compared to factory farms this is enormous. Every one knows and has the common sense to realize it is the pesticides and man made chemicals that we dump onto our food and into our water that is jumping the rate of cancer in this country. Because there are far fewer chemicals on local produce than on supermarket produce you not only get the freshest but the safest food for your family.
I'm on the band wagon yet again but this time to stay. Whats more fun than visiting your local farmers market? We have one right down the road from our house. Often there is music and crafts, fresh cut flowers, local seafood, honey, grass fed hormone free beef, and free range poultry. Back to the future indeed.
The industrial revolution gave us a lot but it took away some of the essentials that make us who we are and disconnected us from not only each other but the very Earth that sustains us. The remnants of the industrial revolution has had and continues to have a devastating effect and affect on our health, and sense of well being. The pendulum has swung too far from those very real, very necessary, god given essentials.
American Farmland Trust
Pesticide Action Network