Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dirty little patriots

Yes, I drove to the anti-Bush rally tonight. Especially since Bush started this war, I try to keep driving to a minimum and bike whenever I can. Don't care for oil companies, international oil politics... but still drive a gas-powered car. Yes, I believe our appetite has gotten out of hand. Yes, I have chanted "No Blood for Oil!"

But blood for food might be a different story. If food were scarce, it would be difficult to suggest one simply stop consuming so much FOOD.

So, where's the protest about our increasing dependence on foreign agriculture? Even in California, produce may travel thousands of miles before reaching the local market. This administration has made it clear that it intends to protect the interests of the mega-corporations. Okay, now imagine that Haliburton is in the fruits and veggies game... that's the kind of monopolistic agri-businesses that think it's okay to spend 36 times as much fossil fuel energy in transporting a head of lettuce as the lettuce provides in food energy . Right now, the market is flooded with garlic from China. Sure, that's bad news for vampires, but it's truly frightening on many levels: politically, environmentally, gastronomically... It's not a new problem, but it's fair to say it's a growing one. (Get it? Growing problem?)

I guess what's on my mind is a combination of two ideas: food miles and food production. Both link into the local food movement from different directions. One thing that is NOT on my mind is suggesting we'd be better off without Australian wines or Swiss chocolate or any of that. There are delicious things to savor about global trade. Mustards, for example. Or Belizian hot sauce.

As a community and as a nation, it seems silly to out source our food source. And as we reduce the number of miles we drive, it makes sense to look at the number of miles our food travels. It's time to bring back the Victory Garden, and support local farmers in any way we can.

2 comments:

Patrick said...

Since we can grow locally and buy at the farmer's market, is supporting slow food easier than stopping war? How important/difficult is it to change the food industry through a political movement?

Amy said...

Victory gardens AND eating in season. Eating in season is key. But that's just as hard as asking folks to stop shopping! Farmer's market produce still travels quite a bit. I'm worried that the rise in gas prices will put the farmer's markets out of business.