On a recent comment to farmersdotter Facebook page someone wrote:
“Food prices have gone up everywhere” and suggested to “Buy whole foods and cook them yourself.” Finally noting “There are huge savings in avoiding junk food.”
Insightful comments that we take to heart.
When you consider the nutritional bang for your buck in a box of Froot-Loops we have never understood the argument that fresh food especially fresh organic food is too expensive. And consider too we have to import this junk. What kind of impact does that have?
So given the current price of fresh produce our fear is some folks will turn more towards processed food as a solution when now more then ever we simply need to buy local and buy what is in season.
Keep it simple
Do we really need to import from California or Florida and beyond in January? Do we really need to import at all? For a number of years now we have relied upon importing massive quantities of produce.
It wasn’t that long ago when importing on such a scale was impractical. Remember when tomatoes weren’t always perfect and oranges were a luxury most of the year? Most of the year you couldn’t find a pineapple to save your life and kiwi fruit was unheard of. Produce had a season much the same way as Japanese mandarins still do. But thanks to China, hybridizing, and genetic engineering mandarins and their derivatives with origin unknown are available year round.
Makes you wonder where all this demand is coming from. Are consumers really demanding of such a wealth of variety or is it by virtue of the wealth of variety that the demand is created. Either way it is massive and ultimately unsustainable.
We are quick to overlook the tremendous infrastructure required to support the variety and choice of the perfect symmetrical specimens we have come to expect. Must it be so? In light of the severe water shortage in the produce growing regions of the USA, especially in California this situation is not going to correct itself anytime soon. Even if it did, lets say California had all our water, should we expect we can continue to rely upon importing so much food? We don’t think so. Lets keep our water and use it wisely.
If the demand were to shift we think locally grown meat and veg supplemented with grown in BC product would be more than sufficient. The produce would not be perfect. Not always. You would have to accept the occasional knobbly carrot and imperfect apple that will and should brown when cut open.
Maybe there are people in areas of the world not as fortunate as us. They may not have the where-with-all to cut the import umbilical and subsist on their own. However, there are people in many diverse areas who can and do. As harsh as it may sound we can not be overly concerned about those in far flung places. Not right now.
Right now we are concerned for our community. Doing what we can to ensure we and our family farms are sustainable going forward. It was the way it used to be and somehow our parents, grand-parents, and elders all made it through. We will too if we keep it simple.