Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Local or Organic? It's a false choice"

Even though there is still snow on the ground in New England, it's time to start thinking about your summer menu. If you plan to eat locally grown foods this summer for optimal health and taste (benefiting the planet as well by reducing carbon emissions and fuel use), check out Local Harvest to find farmer's markets, community supported agriculture programs, and farms that sell direct in your area.

If you live in the Boston area, we will be hosting a potluck on March 11th in Jamaica Plain titled "Local or Organic? It's a false choice" to talk about the benefits of both. According to Samuel Fromitz, author of Organic, Inc: Natural Foods and How they Grew, the local and organic markets account for only 2% of total food sales. Instead of worrying so much about whether buying local trumps buying organic (from California), the larger job is to convince the majority of Americans to try either. For more on this topic, see Samuel Fromitz's Grist article. Come on March 11th to hear about the options, opportunities, and obstacles (there is still snow afterall) to eating sustainably in the Boston metro area. An Evite to our event will follow later in the week.

Judging by the growth of farmer's markets around the country (the number of farmer's markets has more than doubled in the past 10 years according to data from the USDA, and has increased more than 18% in the past 2 years), the American public is catching on. As Michael Pollan notes in his best-selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma:

"...a successful local food economy implies not only a new kind of food producer, but a new kind of eater as well, one who regards finding, preparing, and preserving of food as one of the pleasures of life rather than a chore. One whose sense of taste has ruined him for a Big Mac, and whose sense of place has ruined him for shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart."

Won't you join us in becoming a new kind of eater?

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