Filed under: Energy + Climate, Food + Health, Local Events + Action | Tags: CSA, fair trade, farmers market, organic, sustainable
What does it mean to live sustainably? When it comes to food, many often only think of production — was this lettuce grown organically? how far did it travel to get to my kitchen? With the growth of such food venues as farmers markets and CSAs, more people now have more access to sustainable options than in the recent past. (I put it like that since, not so long ago, when humans lived closer to the land and we didn’t rely on “better [eating] through chemistry,” sustainably produced food was more often the norm.)
While food production is an important aspect, it is also important to keep in mind the other aspects of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle in today’s society. For example, even if that onion was farmed organically by a farmer, say, 20 miles from you, what was it’s environmental impact? True, produce grown under the above conditions do not have the same impact as produce grown across the country (even if grown organically). The impact is even worse when you turn to meat production. The true cost might shock you.
Judy Wicks points out that another important facet of living sustainably is the human facet. Did the workers/producers get fair, living wage for their product? Or were they treated little better than drones? As Wicks points out, looking for products that have been fair trade certified helps create a strong and stable community.
By this point, you may be thinking, “My god! I’m hungry! I just want to eat!” And it is true that, with so much to think about, organic, sustainable, fair trade, humane, etc, it may seem just too daunting; it’s much easier to not think about our meal’s pedigree. But, our current, mainstream food lifestyle is not sustainable and we are already feeling the impact (e.g. global warming, health problems, etc). So, while it may be easier to close our eyes now, it will only be harder to explain to the next generation why we did not try to better their environment, why you just had to have that out of season, conventionally grown kiwi.
Image from: worldwatch.org
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