I am an armchair environmentalist. My idea of conserving fuel is to run errands on the way home, and I conserve gray water by hauling it out in bucketfuls and dumping it on my plants. At the grocery store, I pay more attention to what's in it than where it came from. Now that I'm a Professional Foodie of a sort, I have started paying attention to where things do come from. No, I didn't ask the waiter where the fish came from last week, but it crossed my mind to do so.
And so I have finally read Barbara Kingsolver's book. It's about her year-long experiment about buying locally. I like her fiction; this is not like her other books. She unabashedly stands on her soap-box in-between short essays about her far. Did you know, each food item in a typical U.S. meal traveled 1500 miles to the table? That energy calories to produce and transport food far outweigh the energy calories we get from the food?
Just like with human pathogens and antibiotics, plant pathogens and weeds are growing more resistant to pesticides and herbicides. Crop losses were 7% in 1948 when 50 million pounds of pesticides were applied. In 2000, losses were 13% when 2 BILLION pounds of pesticides were used. No wonder half of our new food team works exclusively on pesticide analysis!
I have noticed at our store here there are signs in the produce area that say which items are purchased locally. I'm going to start paying more attention to them. I herein promise to make some better choices than asparagus in November. Really.