Local Food Culture, by: Hilda Maciel

Food is a key item to surviving along with water. When it comes to eating, we Americans don’t think about the negatives. All we think about is how good it feels to have food in our bodies. We don’t take the time of day to think about where our food comes from or how it’s made. The food industry is not concerned with health, but with making money. Food companies are only interested in making food as tasty and attractive to you as possible. These are the foods we eat and the products that help us survive. If they’re addictive, so much the better! Yet if they impact the consumer’s body negatively, that’s not the manufacturer’s problem. We need to take responsibility for caring for ourselves by eating properly; no one else will take it for us. That’s were local food comes in. It may not be the most exciting thing, but not only is it healthy for you it’s also healthy for the planet.

The food we eat daily travels thousands of miles just to reach our stomachs. Many of the foods carry preservatives. Preservatives are used in foods so that they don’t spoil. It seems like a good idea, but the preservatives added aren’t exactly beneficial. Lunchmeats are preserved with sodium nitrate, which converts to nitrous acid in the stomach and may cause stomach cancer. They are banned in Germany and Norway, but for some odd reason not in North America. Aluminums can leach into our food when used as packaging. Aluminums are linked to dementia. But not only are preservatives bad for the body, they’re also bad for the planet.

Many people argue that we need to care for and protect what is left of our planet. Our once lively planet is slowly dying due to the selfish fact that we humans don’t care enough to protect it. As many people know most of our food is packaged and imported. By importing food we generate large amounts of CO2 and it also burns up a lot of fossil fuel which contributes to global warming. Because of this many countries will experience drought which won’t allow them to farm. The most affected countries will be those we import from but that’s not to say our country won’t be affected. Reducing transportation doesn’t save much in terms of dollars and cents, since total transportation costs amounts to only about four-percent of food costs. However, the ecological savings may be far more significant. Energy for transportation is virtually all derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. In addition, transportation is a major contributor to air pollution, particularly carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. So eating local can make a significant contribution to sustainability, even if only by making a strong personal statement in favor of reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy and protecting the natural environment. Global food systems effectively threaten not only local foods systems but also the cultures that are deeply intertwined with those systems.

The local food culture values wholesomeness, nutrition, freshness, and flavor. It values foods produced in ways that protect the natural environment and respects the farmers, food industry workers, and other living things involved in food production process. Eating local improves food quality. Local foods can be fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious than canned fresh foods shipped in from distant locations. Eating local also encourages eating seasonally, in harmony with the natural energy of a particular place. Virtually all of food items in supermarkets and franchise restaurants today are produced using the same mass-production, industrial methods, with the same negative consequences for the natural environment and for civil society. In addition, the variety in foods today is largely cosmetic and superficial, contrived to create the illusion of diversity and choice where none actually exists. By eating local, food buyers can get the food they actually prefer rather than accept whatever is offered in the supermarket. They can buy foods that are authentically different, not just in physical qualities but also in the ecological and social consequences of how they are produced. They can choose to pay the full cost of food, rather than support the exploitation of society and the environment.            Eating isn’t always good for our bodies, it can help destroy it, but eating locally is good for our bodies and good for the environment.

But the damage we’ve done to our bodies is not irreparable. By cleansing the toxins from our body and replacing our normal diet with a healthful, natural diet filled with raw fruits and vegetables and small quantities of lean meat or tofu for protein, we can transform our health and our bodies. If you are the type of person who wants to know where your food comes from and how it is produced, local food is something you should look into. And if you’re not that person you can still give it a try. Local food is for anyone and everyone.

Works Cited

Craig, Geoffrey, and Wendy Parkins. “Culture and the Politics of Alternative Food Networks.”


“Food Additives.” Web. <http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/preservatives.html&gt;


3 responses to this post.

  1. I enjoyed this post and like the layout and topics of your blog in general. I like that you tell your readers that the damage done is not irreparable. Good health needs to be viewed as a process rather than a product and in doing so, we realize that we can repair damage that has been done.


  2. Posted by hildaway on June 1, 2010 at 6:45 am

    thank you ( :


  3. I really liked your essay Hilda. I like how you took a twist to local food and how you think outside of the box. I also liked how it talked about how we should take responsibility to what we eat because we do and no one else can do it for us. I also like how you also added in something new, like how it affects the environment and how we as people can help it. I also like how your essay flowed and was very organized and it lead back to the local food. Overall good job with your paper!!
    – Karen Ong


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