Filed under: Food + Health | Tags: farmers market, James MacKinnon, Locavore
We can all picture a farmer parked at the roadside with a truck-bed full of produce and no one is stopping to buy any.
There are a few difficulties to overcome when reviving a locally grown food system. Farmers markets are excellent for buying local produce and so are co-ops like the Merc. Cities like Lawrence lack open markets, where farmers and vendors can convene on a larger scale. Farmers setting up shop in a parking lot once a week will not suffice. A permanent, central market that’s open daily is needed. The Merc is an available outlet for local growers, but the interaction between the consumer and the producer is lost.
When Simran spoke with James MacKinnon during a treehugger radio interview, he said that North America has a history of not fully developing local food cultures. We have always been shipping our food. Our food traveled first by covered wagon and now my tractor-trailer. There wasn’t a need to set up local food networks with advances in food preservation. So I think it will take much more than just farmers markets and co-ops to successfully get the locavore trend off the ground.
It is hard to believe that the average food at a grocery store travels 1,500 miles. We have grown accustomed to eating exotic foods from around the world. Since landlocked Kansas couldn’t be any further from the ocean, seafood must be shipped hundreds of miles inland. Are we to drop these items off our menu if we go local? It is hard to imagine a diet consisting of only local fish caught in rivers and lakes.
By: Matt Bristow
Thanks to kenbateman.com for the picture.
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