Have you ever perhaps passed by a farmers’ market one Sunday morning on your way to Safeway?
Perhaps you had looked at the label on some of the fruits and vegetables in the produce section and saw “Produce of Mexico,” “Produce of Brazil,” or even “Produce of the Philippines.” Looking at these labels, you perhaps start thinking,
“Why is more than half the produce in this store from another country? The United States has such a diverse range of climates (especially California), that almost any plant could be grown within it!”
Unless you have lived in the absence of all forms of media and connections to the rest of the country, you may have noticed a shift as of late in American (particularly Californian) attitudes towards a more “green, eco-friendly, ‘locavore’ movement.” There are several reasons for these various kinds of shifts, ranging from more scientific methods to combat global warming, to more economic reasons such as the “Made in America movement,” focusing on lessening the American demand for cheaper exports, and buying more local, domestic goods.
A particular movement, the locavore movement, involves using food that was grown locally as a replacement for all food grown elsewhere. In other words, a locavore is a person who, if produce was grown perhaps in 50, 100, or 150 mile radius from their homes, it would be their only source of produce.
According to HowStuffWorks, the locavore movement originated on World Environment day in San Francisco, CA, and was mainly popularized by the blogging duo James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith. (http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/locavore.htm)
The main argument of the movement is that someone should be able to rely solely on local resources to create a sustainable and renewable way of growing your own produce, and improve the quality of the local economy as well as being environmentally friendly.
Appealing to common sense, they would argue that there should be no reason to have to buy food that was grown hundreds of miles from your home, handled by people you do not ever see or ever know, and have the produce treated with chemicals whose names would take more than a few reiterations to fully say. In addition, the money going back from buying this imported produce goes back to the country that the produce was imported from.
You should be able to grow what you might need in the comfort of your own backyard, knowing what happens to it 24/7 without worrying about it being contaminated with E. Coli, and sell whatever else you might produce to other people in complete confidence.
So say, if you went to your local farmers’ market in February, or decided to sell produce in February, you might come across various vegetables such as: Cabbage, various winter greens, beets, leeks, winter squash, and other starchy root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
While you might not seem convinced over turning completely over your produce purchasing habits, it might not be a bad idea just to take a trip to your local farmers’ market just to see what they have. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually become a locavore without noticing!