Eat locally: be a locavore

Stock photo with Cherisse and hot peppersDo you ever think about where the food comes from that you cram into your mouth?  Do you ever wonder who handled it or how far it traveled to get to your plate?  When you buy food at the grocery store, you can know a bit  – the produce has a sticker with its place of origin, and packaged foods show where they are processed.  But what about when you eat at a restaurant?

Because of the dominance of factory farms and enormous-scale production facilities, large quantities of unsafe food are entering the food chain in our country.  From salmonella to e. Coli, harmful substances are getting into our food and killing us.  Because so much of our food is produced in so few places and spread widely throughout the country, it is often hard to contain the damage.

There are movies like Fast Food Nation, Food, Inc. and Earthlings that will show you the absolute scariest scenarios in food production, and you may or may not alter your eating decisions because of them.  But wouldn’t it be nice to know where some of the food came from that you’re ingesting? Wouldn’t it be nice to eat locally?

blankThe average distance produce travels to get to your local grocery store is 1500 miles.  If you shopped at your local farm stand or farmer’s market, that distance would probably be less than 50 miles.  That means you would not only be supporting your local economy but getting fresher food that has not spent hours bumping along a road in a truck.  This also cuts down on the pollution created by the transportation of the produce.

So, be a locavore.  Eat the seasonably available, fresh vegetables grown where you live.  Cut back on fruits and vegetables that have to be imported from long distances.  Search out and eat at restaurants who use local produce in their menu items.  You will be doing yourself and your planet a disservice not to.

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