>Long-term, is even "sustainale" ag truely sustainable? How long can we
>continue shipping food
>around the nation, the world?
I have a great example of this: I pick up vegetable scraps from local
grocery stores to compost and found a cute red packaging bag (plastic, of
course) with three tomatoes from Holland in it.
I wondered what produce manager in his (all of them around here are men)
right mind would order tomatoes from Holland during tomato season in my
part of California?
I wondered how many of these little packages of three tomatoes they sold--I
knew only of the one they tossed? How many consumers would forsake locally
grown tomatoes, picked the morning they're sold at the Farmers' Market for
tomatoes shipped from Holland?
My mind was totally boggled.
Who would be taking responsibility for this purchasing/marketing
Was it the supermarket chain (Alabertson's, the owners of this store, have
just purchased Lucky's, another rather large chain) who supported or even
instigated purchasing tomatoes from half way across the planet to sell in a
place where tomatoes are readily and cheaply available? Was it the produce
manager, thinking that the packaging or the foreign-ness would catch the
consumer's eye? Was it requests from consumers for tomatoes from Holland?
I have to deal with aspects under my control--which is my own shopping.
I raise my own tomatoes--we have the ideal soil and climate, although we
have been suffering from a bacterial wilt this season. I also shop at two
local Farmers' Markets for types of produce I don't raise. I know the
farmers who grow my food in many instances. I don't often shop at chain
grocery stores--I get videos at Albertsons (and their cast-off vegetables
I watch the consolidation of food production and distribution at one end of
the spectrum and see also more small *fruterias* opening here --small
(really small) stores carrying produce from Mexico and owned by
Spanish-surnamed people. More small markets opening, and more open air
markets. So, consolidation and diversity, both happening like mad.
We consumers can choose where we shop. We can choose to talk to others
about why we make our food choices. We can do the most to support
sustainable, ecological and economic solutions for our food.
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