Sunday, January 10, 2010

Local Food Rules!

Yes indeed local food is better for so many reasons and this morning I read about another at Natural News. Experts believe regional foodsheds would reverse obesity epidemic.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology collected data from a myriad of sources to help them analyze the obesity problem and its causes. They concluded that the large-scale food system of today has resulted in a glut of readily-available, highly-processed foods that are rich in refined flours, sugars, and fats, and devoid of necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Well, I knew that! But what excited me the most is that the MIT researchers also concluded that Local Food is the answer.
Fresh produce, meats, and other whole foods often travel long distances from farm to market, often coming from other continents. When processing is involved, food travels even further as commodities are shipped in from around the globe, processed, shipped out to distribution centers, and distributed to local retailers. The total distance a single processed item's ingredients have traveled is mind-boggling.
The MIT team is advocating for integrated, regional foodsheds that they believe would make healthier fare more readily available. One idea includes encouraging the conversion of urban and suburban yards and lawns into small-scale farms. Lawn maintenance actually costs more than maintaining a small garden plot, making the idea highly plausible.
Local Food is the answer to so many of our food security issues and provides better nutrition, taste, and biodiversity as well as a smaller carbon footprint for you and the farmer/seller promising better air quality, less pollution, and minimal environmental impact.

My favorite local food, of course, is food grown in my own yard. How about you?


JP said...

Beth - great post. I'm a huge proponent of the Buy Local movement here in Vermont, and spent yesterday at conference where I learned about 3 thousand interesting facts on the subject. Wish I could edit them down to just one great comment, but instead will leave you with this idea: some farming communities cannot feed all of their residents because they spend their income importing costly fertilizers, only to sell their commodity crops at a (subsidized) loss. The residents rely on trucked in processed foods (many go hungry,) even though the math clearly shows that the farms could actually profit from selling food directly to their community - ???? ouch!

Beth Molaro said...

Amazing how simple it could be and yet how complicated the "system" makes it!