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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Farmer's Market - Veggie Neighbors

A new farmer's market started up recently every Sunday morning, close to where we live and I went there throughout the summer for nectarines and peaches. Most of our other produce I buy at Trader Joe's and an open air market a couple of miles away because the prices are much cheaper and the taste is very good, if not organic.

I'm reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan for my bookgroup, and learning all sorts of stuff about the "industrialization of food." One aspect of the industry is transporting huge amounts of produce across country or between countries so we can eat what we want when we want it. Even in the organic arena, the large growers with big transportation systems have displaced a lot of the small farmers. Although they are not dosing the soil with fossil fuel-based chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides, they are still creating huge amounts of pollution from fossil fuels in the transportation phase. Pollan says that "the food industry burns nearly a fifth of all the petroleum consumed in the US (about as much as automobiles do)"

So I'm rethinking my grocery bills. I may shift some of my "checkbook activism" for environmental groups to personal change activism and start paying more to the farmers on Sunday who come from towns whose names I actually recognize.

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