Happiness is a Local Non-CAFO Cow
Because I grew up surrounded by left-wing bohemian role models, the concept of “Made in the USA” often struck me as an overly patriotic, politically conservative denouncement of global culture. But as I get older, and hopefully wiser, I realize that making a commitment to support local businesses is actually a healthy, progressive choice.
In particular, supporting local farmers is one of the most proactive choices you can make as a consumer. Buying local, in-season food not only boosts our local economy, cuts out the agro-industry middle men, and cuts down on fossil fuel waste; it’s also better for you.
And here’s a not-so-secret fact: local organic food that goes from farm to plate in a matter of days (sometimes even same day) tastes way better too. That’s because it contains more nutrients, less chemicals and modified genes, tends to be picked when ripe, and doesn’t spend half its life sitting on a truck.
I like to think it’s also because fruit and veggies that are grown and picked by a local farmer are raised with love. The same might be said for buying local beef, pork and chicken that were allowed to lead stress-free, normal lives before their time came.
(If you really want to horrify yourself sometime, try googling the word “CAFO”, or simply click here to read the EPA definition.)
If you need some inspiration to take it local, read Barbara Kingsolver’s marvelous memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.
Or check out your local farmer’s market. You have one. Here is a list of Bay Area Farmer’s Markets.
Last tip, and my favorite new web resource: The Local Food Wheel.
Eating seasonally and supporting local farming bridges the gap between your cash and the hand that feeds you.
Bridge the food gap,