Topic: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Food for thought, heh.

http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/fo … read=83553

A Sonoma County Exercise Provides Valuable Planning Lessons –

This Isn’t as Easy as We Might Hope

“I Hate Peak Oil”  Cookies

by Wendy Talaro

[It’s one thing to acknowledge that food production might revert to
local in the face of Peak Oil. It is another thing altogether to
attempt to eat locally, as this graduate student finishing a Master’s
Degree in Ecological Agriculture at New College demonstrates. Not only is the prospect a daunting one, even for an agriculturally-blessed region like Sonoma County, California; the task of eating only food produced within a 100 mile radius for one week raises much more fundamental questions about our society. By way of full disclosure I should tell you that Wendy Talaro is my fiancée and that you’ll be hearing more from her. I’m a lucky guy in many ways. Even if they weren’t produced locally, “I Hate Peak Oil”  cookies are great. –
MCR]

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Soloflecks wrote:

Food for thought, heh.

http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/fo … read=83553

A Sonoma County Exercise Provides Valuable Planning Lessons –

This Isn’t as Easy as We Might Hope

“I Hate Peak Oil”  Cookies

by Wendy Talaro

[It’s one thing to acknowledge that food production might revert to
local in the face of Peak Oil. It is another thing altogether to
attempt to eat locally, as this graduate student finishing a Master’s
Degree in Ecological Agriculture at New College demonstrates. Not only is the prospect a daunting one, even for an agriculturally-blessed region like Sonoma County, California; the task of eating only food produced within a 100 mile radius for one week raises much more fundamental questions about our society. By way of full disclosure I should tell you that Wendy Talaro is my fiancée and that you’ll be hearing more from her. I’m a lucky guy in many ways. Even if they weren’t produced locally, “I Hate Peak Oil”  cookies are great. –
MCR]

I've sort of attempted something similar this past summer.  I ended up buying a share from a local CSA for a good chunk of our food.  Although this did provide a large quanity of local food, it wouldn't have been enough to live on.  Actually, at the peak of the season (July, September), we did manage to mostly eat produce from our CSA.  Most of the time we had to substitute with store bought food. 

I do a lot of hiking and sometimes pay attention to wild foodstuffs.  If one were willing to modify one's diet to eat wild foods, there would be quite a bit to choose from.  Some of these might not be the most appetizing, but you would certainly survive.  Cattails, acorns and dandilions are all edibile and can be found in huge quanities in this area.  In fact it's really a shame the dandilions get sprayed here.  They're a great source of food - both the roots and the young leafs.  I also found an abundance of leeks and wild garlic growing in a local forest, which was quite a treat in my salads for awhile.

Sometimes finding local substitutes for typical foods can help too.  You can substitute 1.25 cup of honey for 1 cup of sugar in most recipies.  Maple syrup can be used as a sugar substitute as well.  Both of these are found locally in this area. 

I tend to see quite an abundence of food in this area.  There are plenty of small dairy operations, fruit orchards and farmers markets in this area.  There should be no reason why people should go hungry if they're willing to modify their diet and eat seasonally.  Storing food means more preparation and planning for the weeks and months ahead, but is not impossible. 

I remember when first reading some of the literature/propaganda on Peak Oil, I found their argument was that lack of commercial, fossil fuel based fertilizers would ultimately destroy food production.  This certainly doesn't have to happen.  There is plenty of plant food in a day's supply of human waste.  Instead we typically flush this into the rivers and lakes where it causes further imbalances.  Composting toilets are not difficult to implement and there is plenty of literature on the subject.  Table scraps can be thrown into worm bins which recycle the unused nutrients for further use.  There are plenty of options outside of the oil industry for producing large quantities of food. 

I think people who want to try and eat absolutely everything locally probably won't succeed.  I think some dependence on the larger economy is good to a degree.  From a philosophical standpoint it forces us to accept that we are all connected and dependent on one another.  The problem is when people become overly dependent on the system for their every need and forget their connection to the land, their local environment, their neighbors and ultimately themselves. 

In general I feel that those who focus on abundence will experience it.  Those who focus on scarcity will experience it...

Doc: Marty, you're not thinking fourth dimensionally!
Marty McFly: Yeah, I know, I got a real problem with that.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Bless your hearts.  I lived in CA, and you're right, not easy.  I found that growing my own stuff was a huge help.  Now live near Ithaca, NY, summers, and we have a great local food scene...

I am so thrilled that young persons care about this issue.  I just posted a recommend for sustainabletable.org (wanted to put it on "links", but my pc skills are dismal!)..Also had run across a great KIDS' book (ha, like Harry Potter is kids' book) referencing this issue, Gaia Girls:Enter the Earth.   About a family's organic farm , menaced by CAFO. Check out that site, www.gaiagirls.com.  My most treasured helps in eating locally are the Amish and Mennonite famers here, and the riches they bring to the farmers' markets.  they've got it all figured out, and I see no need to reinvent the wheel....I just copy them!!!!

keep on thinking about it, and finding and creating solutions.  Good for you.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Mavis, I'm not the person in the article.  We already know that rocket fuel was found in lettuce, so a great deal of our food is contaminated in one way or another.  I think the focus of the project is narrow and doesn't bring such factors into consideration. 

silverfox, thanks for the links.  Not only do we need to be actively involved in our own future survival, living sustainably also reduces our support of the matrix system.  It's  win-win thing to do.  It's the sort of "activism" that I can support.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Hi: From one who knows (not me) the stuff ON the roadside veggies is not as awful as the stuff IN them..WASH YOUR PRODUCE, even if organic, for same reasons Mavis mentioned....  However, plants enjoy internally converting that crap we don't want..check out the work w/ selenium chomping cattails in waste ponds; and particualrly can convert stuff in the air  (or probably we would all be dead already).  Airborne crap, according to this Cornell prof/ecofreak (and I mean that in the nicest possible way...) is fairly readily mutated...

Now if the stuff is being grown on a Superfund ( toxic waste dump for those lucky enuf not to live near the Love Canal, Buffalo, NY, USA )site, don't eat it!!!!  But if the toxins are airborne, you're fairly safe if you wash stuff.  I proved this when my beautiful organic garden went under  3' of flood water one year,; when the dove came back to the ark, and things dried up, I still had icky nasty  probable sewage MUD in every little ruffle of the leaves.  I was bewailing the loss of my entire year to some friends-of relatives, who happened to be Christian missionaries.  The wife said, "Why, honey, just soak everything in a sink of water with one capful of Clorox.  then wash the Clorox off with 2 more rinses.  We've eaten produce in every third world country without any helth problems."  And I did.  And she was right, thus proving even militant pushy religious people can do some good in this world.  smile  i don't believe this will work for mad cow disease, but seems to eliminate most of what could concern ya with produce.   Also most certified organic produce  (in USA at least ) DOES take site into account.  be well, buy Clorox...

6 (edited by Ian 2006-01-05 09:08:44)

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

I also am trying to establish my food sources as locally as possible. I live in a suburb of East Ottawa, and the next little township over, not 3 km away, is a fairly large farming community with lots of organic farmers. In fact, if I keep going east its almost nothing but farmland, with a few small towns, all the way to Montreal. I like going to Montreal cause its a really cool city (despite being large and quite rough in some places) but also cause I get to see all those little towns getting at least have of their food and some of their merchandise from local growers and businessmen/merchants. I'm not going to say they all live off the grid, but there are very few major grocery chains and companies present in most those towns, especially on the Quebec side where the Bloc Quebequoi (seperatist political party) is in riding and pushes for independence.
But I digress. What I really wanted to get at is local food. You've all mentioned organic gardening, which is to me the first step in taking control of our food. Last summer I had carrots, onions and beautiful tomatoes, just to try my hand at it. Next summer I want my garden to be bigger and have more varied produce. During the summer, I also get my berries from local berry farms, as well as lettuce, cabbage, green and yellow beans, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. Alot of stuff is grown in the Ottawa valley. The winter is the only problem. In most of Canada (save maybe for parts of BC), almost all of our produce is imported from the States, South America, Africa and the Mediterenean region. I used to work for a small grocery chain in the East Ontario region, and I remember come September I start changing the Country of Origin signs from mostly Canada to mostly not, which gave me the impression that Canada "shuts down" or hibernates for the winter. It would be quite a challenge to store enough local food for a long hard winter such as ours, but I'm looking at what can be done. Any thoughts?
Also, I thought I'd bring up meat, since it hasn't really been talked about yet. Most meat comes from factory farming, which is horrible for the animals and absolutely disgusting for us, even dangerous for our health. Also, makes meat taste worse, but most people wouldn't know if all they've ever eaten is factory farm meat. I won't explain much here, its easy to find stuff on the net about it (there was this neat flash parody of the matrix called Meatrix somewhere, go watch that smile ). Needless to say, factory farming undermines local economy, sustainable farming and our health. It's a corporate attack on all fronts. So in order to cut my ties to that industry, I am going to start buying my meat from a farmer's market downtown (goes on during the winter too, so its great; rest of the year in the Byward Market we get access to all sorts of produce goodies from 150 km away or less!) and from Bearbrook Farms, an organic, sustainable, familly owned farm that specialises also in wild meats like bisson, emu, deer and rabbit, which is fun to explore every once in a while. With a little research, work and dedication I'm sure most people here at NR can find local farmer's markets and supplement with their own gardens. Those in major urban centers like New York might have their work cut out for them, but its not impossible. Even if you don't completely extricate yourself from the "food matrix" (? lol), you can lower diminish the support it gets from you and in time it will respond by shrinking. International trade is not a ad idea; the way it's run capitalistically is unfair and exploitative, not to mention unhealthy.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Ooooh, I remember the meatrix.  If we get closer to the source of our food, then maybe our attitudes will change also so that we appreciate and show more gratitude for the sacrifices made in our behalf.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Soloflecks wrote:

Ooooh, I remember the meatrix.  If we get closer to the source of our food, then maybe our attitudes will change also so that we appreciate and show more gratitude for the sacrifices made in our behalf.

I had a crazy thought one time after reading some material on Intent and relating it to the food chain.

Perhaps the intent that goes into the production of food effects those who consume it?  In actuality it effects the whole chain from feed to cattle to humans and everything in between.  Maybe we eat more than just calories in our food - maybe we eat thoughts as well? 

I don't believe there is anything wrong with eating meat.  Humans have survived on this form of sustenance for eons.  That said, there appears to be some serious side effects from eating supermarket meat coming from factory farms.  Perhaps this has to do with packaging, preservatives, processing techniques and other variables.  Perhaps there is something non-physical we're getting out of the meatrix meat and it's not of a positive nature.  Perhaps it is all related? 

Hmmm...

I agree, getting closer to the source of food has many benifits.  You can usually polk your head in the door and see what's up.

Doc: Marty, you're not thinking fourth dimensionally!
Marty McFly: Yeah, I know, I got a real problem with that.

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

I think all your points are valid.  There's much more to eating than merely stuffing something in one's mouth.  Some food may be more "alive" than other food.  We know for sure that what comes from corporate farms is not nourishing and is full of contaminants.  And surely the misery in which animals are kept cannot be good for their meat.  If everything is energy/vibrations, then quality must be a huge factor overall.  Have we seen human health on the decline in so-called civilized countries that are heavy on corporate farming?  Have we seen a general decline in society and families?  Are mental health issues a growing concern?

Re: EATING LOCALLY - HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Have heard that the fact that humans have all kinds of teeth (incisors/slicers,canines/rippers, molars/grinders)  means we are born to be omnivores...???  So I eat some of everything & focus on quality. e.g.... If the chicken didn't have a good life up until the end, I won't eat it.  I think plants have sentience also , so to be a vegetarien may not be the answer.  Traditional Native Americans thank everything they harvest , kill &/ or prepare it & then eat it with respect and gratitude.  Bet ya  can transmute a lotta pollution/additives that way, too...this is all speculative, that it may not be so much what's in the food as how we think about it .   That HAS to include thinking about how it was riased, so it all gets kinda circular...The only thing I can say in defense of this stance is that I'm 63 and in perfect health.... but I think I had a wise choice of ancestors as well!