“Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.”
― Vandana Shiva
This is the year that I will eat local. I have resolved to source my food locally for a year for three reasons:
- For a better appreciation of food as more than just necessity
- To explore the community bonds created by a local food web
- To gain first hand insight into the impact of our environment on the quality of our food
This experience will increase my awareness of the disconnect our society has with food and each other as well as to encourage a more meaningful and satisfying relationship with food and the people in my community. This is not about ostracizing or restricting myself for a year, it is quite the opposite, it is about reconnecting and immersing myself within my community to fully experience all it has to offer.
I want to appreciate food not only for the physical nourishment it has to offer my body but also for the emotional satisfaction that it can provide. Physically, food helps to establish chemical connections and bonds between biological molecules within our bodies. The calories keep us going and the vitamins and nutrients help our bodies repair themselves. Emotionally, food helps to establish a different kind of connection and bond. Food connects people, it is what brings us together and helps us develop lasting bonds within our communities.
By eating local I will explore my community and the natural environment in which it exists. I hope to achieve a closer connection to my immediate surroundings. When you source food locally you become dependent on your neighbours both directly and indirectly. Even if they are not food producers, their stewardship of the environment or lack thereof will determine the quality of your food. Your neighbour’s actions affect the soil, the air and the water necessary to grow the food that will nourish you.
Whether we want to make the connection or not we are all interconnected on this beautiful planet and our actions affect not only those around us but also those to come. Our immediate surroundings and the communities we live in have so much to offer us; I want to increase the awareness of these amazing gifts and encourage others to experience them as well. The New Moon next Wednesday will mark the start of my challenge. I invite you to come with me on my year long journey to reconnect with food, nature and my community and all they have to offer.