This is probably a topic that goes beyond now reading section; so I'm just finishing Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dillema In it he explores the entire chain of what we eat, from industrial farming, to the Organic Movement in America, to small sustainable farming, even right down to hunting and foraging food himself as an experiment, you might say.
The book really challenged me about what I choose to eat, where it comes from, what happens to it on the way to the grocery store and on the table. The part that really got to me was the chapter Big Organic, somewhat of an expose on the organic industry, and it is a gargantuan industry here and now. He goes to an Organic "Free Range" chicken farm where some 20,000 chickens are packed together, with the free range part being a little strip of grass outside the warehouse that the chickens never touch.
The same goes with the organic vegetables, as in there are industrial means applied to the food that sort of compromises the whole intent of why we buy that food to begin with. It's healthier, sure, but sustainable? Doesn't sound like it.
I was at the local Whole Foods the other day here in Westminster, Colorado and noticed a bunch of signs with faces of local business owners "I am local" the signs are entitled. Standing in the produce section was a bigger than life-size poster of Hosea, a chef from nearby Boulder. Hosea won the most recent Top Chef show, it's a reality chef competition show with that Indian model babe as host. My wife watches it... so do I Under Hosea's face there's a caption, as in all the big signs, that touts the virtues of eating local. He mentions the obvious superior taste of local food as soon as you taste it.
So I look around the produce section all of that local food I expect to find.... what do I see? Lettuce from California, Asparagus from Mexico, something from New Zealand, Georgia, and so on. Everything I saw, and I looked pretty thoroughly, was from anywhere but Colorado! You can imagine all the countless costs of fuel, pollution, etc it takes to put food on our tables.
My new mission is to change this, well, at least within the influence of my own family. It only makes sense to buy as much local as I can, it's healthier, it's more sustainable in the true sense of the word, and it just makes sense... and from what I'm hearing, the farmer's market communities are growing.
So my question is to wonder about what you're thinking, or what you've tried, to deal with this, if at all. Any experiences of gardening, local markets, hunting, etc. to share?