the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

Hi everyone. We all know that an event like war in, not necessairly with, Iran (air strikes by Israel?) could cause the cost of oil to suddenly skyrocket. If our suppliers are getting most of their food from a distance, and most of them are, that will contribute to shortages. I know a number of us are gardeners and we also join fresh food coops and patronize local farmers, but there is something else we can do. 

I'd like to suggest that we all speak to our local grocers, and point out to them the insanity of getting foods from a distance when they are available locally. I consciously chose a market that uses local farmers for much of their fresh supplies: eggs, fruit, vegetables, meat. But last week at this local chain grocery store, and in this case local chain means "regional," I noted with dismay that one of the produce "specials" was hothouse tomatoes imported from Canada. Tomtoes! During their growing season here.  I live in South Carolina, and I consider anything from more than a 100-mile radius "imported,"  so this really concerned me.

I spoke to the manager of the store and wrote a letter to the president of the company.  I told them not only will it be better for the environment if they "deal locally" but they will be positioning themselves to perhaps stay in business if the economy takes a sudden nosedive due to oil shocks. 

Yes, everything could fall apart if the S hits the Fan tomorrow, but it's entirely possible that the decline will happen in a series of stair-steps. Trying to get our food from local sources now will save pain later, and getting places like this to think about oil shocks might ease the transitions.

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

Safewrite,  

  This does work.   Besides having our farmers market ,the grocery store sells the locally grown produce ,honey , eggs , milk , vegs, fruit, and one store butchers and sells locally grown beef .   I have not seen them put out any local chicken but we do not have anyone raising them to sell either .    I    have not asked if they would sell jelly and jam . I do know you do not have to have a commercial kitchen to to sell these .   One woman I know sells muffins and cupcakes  she does not have a commercial kitchen but says it is legal because she does not advertise . Her husband is a layer so I guess I take her word for it .   Makes sense though because the Ladies that bake the wedding cakes do not either .

 Here again less Govt. might be key .    One gal I know had too many cucumbers that would not sell at the Farmers Market so she went home and sliced them with  a vinegar sugar dressing .  This really sold BUT the food police were on her door step and she had to then jump through the hoops.

 For many meats we can just call the local locker  but you would have to order a hog or cow by the 1/4 , 1/2 .   etc.  Or find others to go in with you . This meat can not be resold .

  I am really starting to feel we are so very backward  in the Midwest . We personally know most everyone we do business with .   We do not Like everyone but we Know them LOL

 We have a leather crafter who mends, patches ,  re-heels shoes .  A gal that makes fudge ,  etc .    Still  have the local China Mart   so there still might be some small business that would fly if we were not able to trade with them .   Oh I do too know one,  when they put in the walmart it drove the fabric/sewing shop to close ... that might be one to open back up .

 Sorry got sidetracked   from the local raised food .     If your area does not have greenhouses it could very well be a good business to be able to grow vegs,    I wonder how much you would need to grow to make it pay ?  I am sure someone here knows .     what would make the most profit?  Spinach maybe ? Right now there is no way we can compete with the huge farms who raise and ship it in from the coasts .   I am  sure a "you pick it "  strawberry patch would make some income .

 If we keep bouncing Ideas off each other we will come up with a way .

 FM

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

Safewrite I like your ideas but I would be surpised if anyone takes your letter reads it & truly "gets it".

Speaking of food this is back on sale at Costco. Looks like a better buy than GOLD too me. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?whse=BC&topnav=&prodid=11487214&ec=BC-EC877-CatHome&pos=16&lang=en-US

1 Person 1-year Food Supply    $799.99 Ater $200 OFF

 

$799.99 after $200 OFF
Shelf Reliance THRIVE™
1-year Supply
Dehydrated & Freeze-Dried Food

1-year Food Supply For 1 Person
5,011 Total Servings
84 #10 Cans

 

 

 

Bluenoser's picture
Bluenoser
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 11 2010
Posts: 28
Re: the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

Safewrite, at the same time that you were being sold Canadian tomatoes we were being sold strawberries from Florida (when the late season varieties are still producing at Millen Farms, 40 miles away), peppers from Mexico (when they are in the peak of their season, and available at our local farmer's market), and apples from California (when Nova Scotia's fall apple season is in full swing).  This doesn't even touch on all the processed foods out there that say "imported by XXXX" Canadian company but fail to identify where the original foodstuffs were grown. 

The solution of approaching local grocery stores is a good one, but a lot of folks are still only concerned with price and convenience, and while merchants like to please their customers they will go where the greatest demand is.  So hand in hand with the supply side approach, we also need to continue working on the education and food policy side of the equation (not everyone's cup of tea, but each of us has our own strengths).  Check out Linda Best's site "Friends Agriculture in Nova Scotia" - this is grassroots at its best (Linda pays $12 a month out of pocket through a local web server, updates the info herself, and organizes the whole thing out of her living room).   The link is http://friendsofagriculture.net - I know its not directly relevant to all those of you who don't happen to live in this province, but I'm including it as an example of a bottom-up movement with local farmers and regular citizens working in unison to ensure we don't outsource our most basic human needs.

Individuals need to influence food policy at the level of personal choice (vote with your pocketbook), by actively discussing their concerns with local merchants, and by working at the policy level to bring forward concerns about food security and the need to have food systems that support local producers.

Bluenoser

PS  At a personal level, we have 168 home canned bottles of stuff put by from this year's garden, fruit trees and berry fields, as well as about 150lbs of potatoes and frozen berries / beans / kernel corn.   

 

 

 

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: the Local vs. "Imported" Foods Challenge

http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/truth-pesticides-gmo/

 

 This kid gets it .

FM

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