Climate change concerns call us all to seriously analyze our way of life, and look for ways to improve business as usual. It has helped also bring a wave of interest in eating locally -- purchasing foods grown and processed within a one hundred fifty miles of where we live. It's no wonder why.
According to the WorldWatch Institute, food transportation is among the biggest and fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. A basic diet of imported ingredients can easily require four times the energy and emissions of a domestically-based source. Though, note that one of the leading researchers on this topic, A. Carlsson-Kanyama, found that the actual greenhouse gas benefits of local production is limited for commodities where the amount of resources required for local production dwarf the shipping impacts. And one of the better ways to reduce the carbon impact of your diet is by shifting away from meat to a vegetable, seed, and legume-based diet. However, the fact still remains that the eating seasonally and shifting toward higher percentages of local foods appropriate to your region will support your community and the planet.
You can all join the effort, enjoy local, organic meals to the greatest extent you can, celebrate your local farmers, and grow your own food. Support local food efforts through many resources, including:
Indigenous Permaculture -- provides Certificate Trainings to enable participants to sustainably grow their own food, and delivers community food security resources and tools to low-income and indigenous grassroots groups. (www.indigenous-permaculture.com)
Community Alliance for Family Farmers -- provides policy analysis and advocacy for sustaining family-scale agriculture (www.caff.org)
Community Food Security Coalition -- provides networking, technical assistance, and program evaluation to support grassroots groups (www.foodsecurity.org)
Local Harvest -- links to local food sources of all types throughout the U.S. (www.localharvest.org)