Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Making sustainable food choices
Here's one example. No matter where you live in North America, there are types of apples that grow well in your climate. However, did you know that most apples eaten in the US travel over 1500 miles to reach your fridge? That's because large producers with many thousands of acres of apple trees usually do not farm in or near cities. To cut costs, trees are grown in masses, sprayed with pesticides, apples are treated with color additives, picked before fully ripe, polished with waxes, boxes by the hundreds, loaded into pallets, and shipped to grocery stores all over the world where they are off-loaded and stocked on shelves. Those are the apples available to most people in local grocery stores - weeks after being picked. And you pay for all that in the cost and taste of the apple. I would rather buy apples grown locally or least within the state. When we buy items produced locally, we can cut out a lot of the waste. The apples can be picked when ripe (meaning they taste better and have more nutrients), and instead of supporting large companies, middle-men distributors, and transportation companies, you could be supporting your own local economy. I would really prefer to buy apples that are grown sustainably, organically, and at a fair market value.