Think Globally, Eat Locally

Introduction

The local food movement is becoming increasingly popular, especially with environmental issues being highly debated on.  The following papers discuss the pros and cons of such a system and the impact of implementation.

Food For Thought by Sarence Simatupang

American society is fast paced and we need a food system that gives us what we want when we want it. This system appears efficient but can yield harmful results. Buying local food is a way to end this faulty system. Although buying local food can be more costly and doesn’t offer as much variety as imported food, it is a better choice for our bodies and our environment.

The obvious reason to buy local is for health benefits. Imported food has to last from harvest to the market. To be able to sustain food, preservatives that destroy nutrients and cause some diseases must be added. With local foods, there is no need for preservatives because the food doesn’t have to travel far or last long. Some may argue that many can eat preservatives and be unharmed because the body’s resilience. The body however, starts to lose its resilience as it gets older and will be harmed by the preservatives (“Preservatives and Additives”).

Imported foods might appear cheaper than local foods but there are hidden costs. Transportation of food requires vast amounts of fuel which causes carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. Some may argue that imported foods provide income for farmers in developing countries. Unfortunately, global warming will cause droughts in these countries and people will lose their ability to farm therefore losing their income (“Food Miles”).  It might seem that imported foods cost less, but they are really compromising the future of this planet and that price isn’t worth paying.

Gradually we can make the change to eating entirely local foods. We just have to realize that by buying imported foods, we are stealing from future generations. Importing foods causes global warming which will lead to economic disasters and animal extinctions in the future generation (Kingsolver 66). A simple change of lifestyle can make this world a better place for us and future generations.

Home Grown 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. . 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. We need to take responsibility for caring for ourselves by eating properly; no one else will take it for us. Local food is healthy for you and it’s also healthy for the planet.

Many people argue that we need to care for and protect what is left of our planet. By importing food we generate large amounts of CO2 and it also burns up a lot of fossil fuel which contributes to global warming. Reducing transportation doesn’t save much in terms of dollars and cents, however, the ecological savings may be far more significant. 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.

The local food culture values food produced in ways that protect the natural environment and respects the farmers, food industry workers, and other living things involved in food production process. Local foods can be fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious than canned fresh foods shipped in from distant locations. 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.

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.

Local Food Culture

by: Samuel Munguia

There will always be negative and positive factors when it comes to food culture. One of the good things about the food culture is how naturally all the food that is produced is grown locally. Some experts say that local food is one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves. There will always be those big time companies that had a stamped lie on their packages saying “produced locally” or “Fresh cut” but most of those are just lies so they can sell their products faster and make more money. How about actually taking care of yourself and buying or producing local food. Make a change in your life and help make one for others to.

As people we want to have access to a long and healthy natural life.  With most of the produced goods that are in the store, that healthy nature life isn’t going to go as planned, better yet how about some naturally local grown food? With local goods there is always the advantage that you avoid all those preservatives that doesn’t make the food go rotten or spoil. Local food culture is pretty much self explanatory, there are usually group of local food that sell their own grown produced products at a farmers market or a self owned buisness.

Us as California’s are a demanding state. If we want a strawberry shortcake durinf winter, we can get the strawberries from around the globe. We get many products around the country, but all these preservatives aren’t good for our bodies to take in. Yes local food can be a bit more expensive but is better for our health. Local foods are grown in healthy soil and picked fresh which makes it the best choice someone can make.

Yes shopping may seem stressful when you are always looking behind the labels to see what ingredients they have to try and make them healthy. So why not go to a local food Market and not worry about looking behind the labels, or how old a fruit may be , or when it was picked or packed. Go to your local farmers market and do most of your healthy food shopping there. Statistics show that people who shop at their local food store and eat organic have a healthier and stronger body. Eating healthy is a good way to start and change . It never to late to start a change , why not now!

Works Citied:

http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/eatlocal/

video: Food Inc.

http://www.grownlocally.com/Foodfacts.html

Saving the World, One Vegetable at a Time by Chelsea Wee

Society’s obsession with reviving and glorifying past trends does not bypass even the methods of food consumption, as seen by the growing attention towards the idea of the friendly farmer-next-door providing fresh produce to the community.  The local food movement promotes sustainability through a shared effort to support locally based, self-reliant food economies.  While I do agree with certain undeniable virtues of the movement, I feel that it is only fair to acknowledge the blemishes of such a system and that exclusively buying and eating only local produce may not be practical.

The argument for the local food movement can be very persuasive.  Supporters of the movement (also known as “locavores”) boast of the transparent use of responsible and organic farming methods, and improved freshness, quality, taste and nutritional value of the produce.  According to locavores, a sense of community is fostered through the interactions at farmers’ markets.  Purchasing local produce can be affordable through food co-operatives.  Supporting the movement decreases support for the giants of the food industry, and may force the decision-makers of these companies to rethink unsavory practices.   However, these noble claims neglect to acknowledge the reality and practicality of the situation.

The local food movement is far from flawless.  The limitations in the variety of local produce may create a nutritional gap.  Social responsibility must also be considered, such as the employment of the dependents of the previous system. Buying local produce can be inaccessible to those without the time or financial resources to do so, or those who live in regions that are environmentally unable to support a localized food system.  The creation of a closer community also has its setbacks, such as segregation, isolation and elitism.  Small-scale agriculture may be inefficient without the economies of scale and division of labor that industrial agriculture enjoys.

I feel that buying local produce is not the only solution to the problems of the current food system.  Considerations should be made regarding other methods to streamline the current system and a shift in emphasis towards healthy food preparation.  Instead of being a replacement, buying and eating local produce should be done as a complementary measure, striking a balance between both systems.

Obese Education not the Student by Wesley Akeli

We can argue the fact that our children consume some of the most unhealthy food products at the lunch tables in our school cafeterias but it doesn’t change the plain truth that a child’s obesity condition is strictly associated with the lack of education and knowledge of what they eat. This is a direct stab at our nations’ lack of education on food identity and culture due to the obesity crisis that we all face daily.

The food culture has a broad stage of things to counter but the fact that education has suffered the most, frightens and agitates the future development of the younger generations to come.  It is without a doubt that education is more than susceptible to improving the view of our local food culture concerning the developmental welfare of our children. It begins with the acceptance of noticing that we are in the most substandard place of health and that there is a need for a more better understanding of our current food culture. St. Vincent Health has it

“Culture- People learns to eat and cook the way in which they were brought up. Food and combinations are learned very early in life. Social events and family rituals are often centered on large meals. Today’s culture promotes eating habits that contributes to obesity.People may serve large portions and foods that are most readily available instead of choosing foods that are most nutritious. Cooking with butter, chocolate and other high-caloric foods is a normal part of the American diet.Also; food is often used as a reward in this country. Children are treated to sweets for cleaning their room, and the team is taken for pizza or ice cream after the game. Seldom is eating only when hunger is present.”(Biatric weight loss center of excellence www.stvincent.org)

On that note, change will take careful steps like that of the British Nutrition Foundation puts it  “Enabling children to select foods available from a balanced range of healthy and higher-energy foods available from tuck shops and vending machines provides an opportunity, we are concerned that the children may be deprived of the chance to learn the necessary skills to make healthier food choices, and will not necessarily learn to take responsibility for making healthy choices for themselves outside the school gates” reference Butriss J (2005) Government promises school meals will be transformed. Nutrition Bulletin 30:211-14

This provision will allow for kids in schools to become more aware of what they are putting into their bodies. Over all this quote not only unveils the failure of education but how the emphasis of health is down to its’ last strings. “Every child has a right to be as healthy as present knowledge can make him. Proper feeding is one of the chief factors in health.”-Lucy H. Gillett. The solution is child’s play. Foster children in making the best choices that contribute to good health by education. This problem called obesity is simply prevalent because there is a paucity of resourceful information that should be taught in schools to give life to our future generations. The education must predispose the individual of living a healthy life.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kira Roberts on June 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I really am intrigued by your piece and the facts that were stated. However i wanted to know what is more affordable, and what about meats?

    Reply

  2. these essays were all good and informative. its stuff that i have heard before. we all know that organic is better for us. yet a lot of people still knowingly chose to stick with imported foods, for many reasons. i think the biggest reason is that its just cheaper and more convenient to buy imported foods. people are so used to going to their local grocery store and continue purchasing products that they have been consuming for years. its all about convenience. if buying organic local food was cheaper then maybe more people would look into it.
    -jhocelyn Marroquin

    Reply

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