Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who's Your Farmer?

"You shouldn't be buying garlic shipped in holds of ships from thousands of miles away, between sex toys and flip flops."

--Carol Boutard in the film Ingredients

If you need any convincing that buying local food is the way to go, this documentary should take care of that. Now, before you roll your eyes and click away, let me add that the film does NOT say the only solution is to become a 100%, hardcore locavore, eating only food that's grown within a 100 mile radius. It specifically says you can have your olive oil, your coffee, bananas, or chocolate and still support the local food movement.

One point the film makes over and over is that locally grown food is just better stuff. The large-scale, industrial farms are interested in just about everything but flavor. Chemicals and genetic modifications may result in lower labor costs, higher yields, and a more uniform product, but flavor and nutrition and sometimes even safety are sacrificed.

Of course, another aspect to consider is fuel and energy costs. The film quotes a statistic that one fifth of our nation's fossil fuel consumption is used in the growing, packaging, and transporting of food. I think we've all heard that food costs are due to go up, and that's partly because of fuel costs.

I could go on...and on...but why not just watch the film? It is truly a feast for the eyes and food for thought. If you're a Bucks County resident, the film is available to borrow for free at the Bucks County Free Library. There is also a great Ingredients website and blog.

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