Thursday, April 26, 2007

Eat Local - In Spirt

A long time ago, I touched on the notion that it was possible to Eat Local without actually eating local. That given the various constraints (see post below), it was not always possible to Eat Local (or as local as you wanted), yet one could always try to eat "as if". Was it made like local; artisanal; family (or small) farm, fair trade, organic, shade grown, free range, grass-fed, hormone free, without antibiotics, tuna safe--buzz words for sure, but pay attention, research. I have no hierarchy or scale (although I do tend to disdain corporganic like Horizon Milk). Just look for the products that seem best. Seek the products that would be like what you would get if you could find it local. Moreover, could it mimic the environmental impact of local; how many layers of packaging, could it be bought in bulk, how far did it travel.

A good read today, from the Chicago Tribune discusses the issue of plastic bags. In short: plastic bags bad (!). So, compare the amount of plastic bags needed to buy produce at the grocery store to my CSA box from Genesis Growers. Who gets more plastic? If you are not getting a CSA, however, you can still try, as if, by reducing your use of plastic bags. As they say in the article:

Avoiding the use of plastic bags is very difficult. My daily newspaper is usually delivered in a plastic bag. Most department stores, convenience stores and drugstores offer nothing but plastic bags. When I make a small purchase and say "I don't need a bag," I am usually greeted with disbelief. At a grocery store that customarily offers paper bags, I have to emphasize, "No plastic, please." At some establishments, for tiny purchases, many shopkeepers ask, "Would you like a little bag?" as if it were a courtesy.

Things do add up.

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