Food for Thought is Closer than You Think

By John Addison (8/28/08). About half of the global warming caused by transportation is the result of goods and services that we all use; the other is from our personal vehicles ride. We can buy an organic apple that was grown locally, or we can buy an apple grown ten thousand miles away that used oil-refined fuel and natural gas derived fertilizers sourced another ten thousand miles away. Fish caught in Norway are shipped to China for cutting and packaging then shipped back to Norway.

Food is just one example of our potential to save. Food often requires large amounts of fossil fuels for farming machinery, fertilizers, pesticides, food processing, distribution and packaging materials. Transporting fresh products overseas by air, rather than sourcing them locally requires up to 50 times more fossil fuel energy. An air shipment of 1 kg of vegetables consumes 4 to 5 liters of petroleum, whereas the same amount of locally grown produce consumes about 0.1 to 0.3 liters (“Climate change: beyond whether,” UBS Research Report).

Millions are now buying produce locally to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, while avoiding this tragic shipping cost. During my last trip to Whole Foods, they stated that 60% of their produce is local. Each bin included a label stating where the fruit or vegetable was grown, making it easy to buy local. Organic food is more likely to be local. Many communities have local shops, farmers markets, and co-ops which offer locally grown food.

Type “CSA” and your zip code into Google or your favorite search engine. You are likely to be presented with choices of where you can buy locally grown seasonal food and/or have the food delivered to you.

Slow Food Nation, the largest celebration of American food in history, will take place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (August 29 to September 1, 2008). An unprecedented event, Slow Food Nation will bring together tens of thousands to experience the connection between plate and planet. The majority of Slow Food Nation’s events will be free and open to the public; certain events are ticketed.

Copyright 2008 © John Addison. Permission to reproduce if this copyright notice is preserved. John Addison publishes the Clean Fleet Report and writes about how people are reducing their petroleum dependency and carbon footprint.