developed habit: reading about other peoples' local eating experiments.
Well let me tell you, the back-breaking work that is armchair farming
has made me notice many an inefficient thing, from Himalayan Rice to
too-cheap meals to non-recyclable packaging.
Done with Novella Carpenter's Farm City, I am currently reading
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a memoir of
her family's year-long quest to only eat local foods. The book is chock-
full of factoids and statistics, recipes and simple suggestions to improve
the mileage of your foods (it's something like 87 fuel calories to transport
1 calorie worth of rice, for example.).
Of course, this brings up all sorts of questions of morality, practicality
and feasibility. Should I avoid eating overripe bananas that are going to
waste? How can I afford to eat local foods when I am underemployed?
And while there are many farmers markets in my city, if there are none
today, and I am out of produce, what then?
Of course I don't know the answers, not that I believe there are answers.
On the way home I bought a bunch of bruised bananas to dehydrate for
making my own fruit-and-nut bars, plus a couple of cans of coconut milk
just for kicks. I did avoid buying the things I can purchase locally: peaches,
plums, tomatoes, berries (all things that are 3-5 times cheaper down the
block than they will be at the farmers market, but lacking in quality).
So where does this leave me? I am still using food that traveled fairly far
(coconut milk from Thailand and bananas from Ecuador) but I am using
them for foods that will either save transport and packaging (homemade
nut bars versus buying Larabars or Clif bars) or that will keep my food
dairy-free, avoiding using the ultra-pasteurized non-organic milk that
is in my budget.
Is it a start? Sure.