Eat local

There are lots and lots of reasons to eat as much locally-produced food as possible. Here’s another.

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16 thoughts on “Eat local

  1. I’m currently reading a book called “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky. Before we had refrigeration, canning, and effective transportation between southern and northern hemispheres, we had salt. Up until about 100 years ago, many wars we (humanity) fought were over salt rather than oil. The alternative to these high energy methods of preserving and transporting food is probably the old school methods, which means lots of salted meat and fish, and pickled vegetables.

    I’m guessing that if people had to eat only food that was produced within 100 miles of where they lived, much of the industrialized world would be in big trouble. Especially the more northern cities.

    The more i think about this the scarrier it gets. When oil hits $300/barrel, its not going to just be more expensive gas, its going to have major effects on food production and delivery. I can telecommute, carpool, and buy a hybrid car, but I can’t stop eating during the winter.

    –Rehpic

    PS. sorry for the downer on a sunday afternoon. 🙂

  2. I’m currently reading a book called “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky. Before we had refrigeration, canning, and effective transportation between southern and northern hemispheres, we had salt. Up until about 100 years ago, many wars we (humanity) fought were over salt rather than oil. The alternative to these high energy methods of preserving and transporting food is probably the old school methods, which means lots of salted meat and fish, and pickled vegetables.I’m guessing that if people had to eat only food that was produced within 100 miles of where they lived, much of the industrialized world would be in big trouble. Especially the more northern cities.The more i think about this the scarrier it gets. When oil hits $300/barrel, its not going to just be more expensive gas, its going to have major effects on food production and delivery. I can telecommute, carpool, and buy a hybrid car, but I can’t stop eating during the winter. –RehpicPS. sorry for the downer on a sunday afternoon. 🙂

  3. Depends how “north” you mean. I believe it would be possible for me to eat nothing but locally produced food, I’d just have to live with things like mushy apples and lots and lots of potatos through the winter months. Meats, cheese, dairy, eggs, are all available locally year round, I believe. My food choices would be more limited than they are now, but not catastrophically so.

    If you mean seriously northern cities like in Nunavut or Alaska, you’re probably right. On the other hand, the percentage of the population that lives in those areas is relatively small.

    FWIW, the new Google cafe (Cafe 150) apparently is called such because it only uses locally-produced food from within a 150 mile radius. You Californians have it easy, really 🙂

  4. Depends how “north” you mean. I believe it would be possible for me to eat nothing but locally produced food, I’d just have to live with things like mushy apples and lots and lots of potatos through the winter months. Meats, cheese, dairy, eggs, are all available locally year round, I believe. My food choices would be more limited than they are now, but not catastrophically so.If you mean seriously northern cities like in Nunavut or Alaska, you’re probably right. On the other hand, the percentage of the population that lives in those areas is relatively small.FWIW, the new Google cafe (Cafe 150) apparently is called such because it only uses locally-produced food from within a 150 mile radius. You Californians have it easy, really 🙂

  5. Yeah, I often wonder how well the panic over peak-oil scenarios has incorporated the discretionary nature of so much of our energy use. I guess we’ll see, in time.

  6. Yeah, I often wonder how well the panic over peak-oil scenarios has incorporated the discretionary nature of so much of our energy use. I guess we’ll see, in time.

  7. It gets more depressing, really. One study in the UK shows that 48% of the fossil fuels used in making potatoes are actually used in cooking them.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4807026.stm

    And as for the unexpected cascade effects of high oil prices, they can be really far reaching. Brazil is the world’s biggest sugar producer. Because of the high cost of oil they have decided to convert all cars to ethanol in a staggaring timeframe like 5 years or something like that. So 50% of their sugar production is now going to ethanol production, and as a result sugar prices are skyrocketing.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000100&sid=aFNCi152cO1U&refer=germany

    Home Canning is a good way to eat locally year round, BTW. Without all the salt 🙂 We just had local green beans with supper the other night. We have local carrots at our disposal year round too. It’s a lot of work in the fall to can it all up, and we are far from being self-sufficient by any stretch, but each year we do a little more so we are getting closer each year.

  8. It gets more depressing, really. One study in the UK shows that 48% of the fossil fuels used in making potatoes are actually used in cooking them. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/48070…And as for the unexpected cascade effects of high oil prices, they can be really far reaching. Brazil is the world’s biggest sugar producer. Because of the high cost of oil they have decided to convert all cars to ethanol in a staggaring timeframe like 5 years or something like that. So 50% of their sugar production is now going to ethanol production, and as a result sugar prices are skyrocketing.http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000100…Home Canning is a good way to eat locally year round, BTW. Without all the salt 🙂 We just had local green beans with supper the other night. We have local carrots at our disposal year round too. It’s a lot of work in the fall to can it all up, and we are far from being self-sufficient by any stretch, but each year we do a little more so we are getting closer each year.

  9. Yeah, I was thinking about the home canning/preserving thing today, actually. We have no shortage of decent local farmers’ markets in this area during the summer, and with a bit of work on my part I could put some fruits and veggies up for the winter.

    Something I’m not sure I can get locally are lemons and limes, and those play a pretty huge part in my personal cooking. There might have to be some specific exceptions made to my “eat local” attempts 🙂

  10. Yeah, I was thinking about the home canning/preserving thing today, actually. We have no shortage of decent local farmers’ markets in this area during the summer, and with a bit of work on my part I could put some fruits and veggies up for the winter.Something I’m not sure I can get locally are lemons and limes, and those play a pretty huge part in my personal cooking. There might have to be some specific exceptions made to my “eat local” attempts 🙂

  11. We’ve got the market right at the end of the street. For a few weeks in fall there are some pretty amazing deals on vegetables so it’s really cheap to can them. It’s only time intensive. Just be sure to read a good book on canning because improperly canned foods can kill you! Here is a good freebie from the USDA

    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html

    You’ll need a pressure canner, which can be expensive. We have a huge “All American” which we got at Preston Hardware for one of these, and one of those (points to arm, then leg). You can get them online for a fair bit cheaper.

    http://www.pressurecooker-outlet.com/930.htm

  12. We’ve got the market right at the end of the street. For a few weeks in fall there are some pretty amazing deals on vegetables so it’s really cheap to can them. It’s only time intensive. Just be sure to read a good book on canning because improperly canned foods can kill you! Here is a good freebie from the USDAhttp://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publicati…You’ll need a pressure canner, which can be expensive. We have a huge “All American” which we got at Preston Hardware for one of these, and one of those (points to arm, then leg). You can get them online for a fair bit cheaper.http://www.pressurecooker-outlet.com/930.htm

  13. BTW:

    As I have for others who were curious, I suggest coming over sometime when we’re doing up something in the pressure canner to see how it works, etc. We used a much smaller one prior to buying our large one–it was fine but, as our quantities became larger, took quite awhile to process everything.

    You can also blanch and freeze veggies. For example, I bought 15 head of broccoli for $5 at the end of the summer–it was grown in western Quebec (Shawville, I think). I blanched it according to home food preservation guidelines and froze it in meal size portions with the use of the handy-dandy vacuum sealer!

    I will caution you that home canning can quickly become somewhat of an obsessive hobby.

    I believe you can buy Ontario lemons and limes, but IIRC they are incredibly expensive and probably chew up more resources to grow and transport than ones imported from warmer countries.

  14. BTW: As I have for others who were curious, I suggest coming over sometime when we’re doing up something in the pressure canner to see how it works, etc. We used a much smaller one prior to buying our large one–it was fine but, as our quantities became larger, took quite awhile to process everything.You can also blanch and freeze veggies. For example, I bought 15 head of broccoli for $5 at the end of the summer–it was grown in western Quebec (Shawville, I think). I blanched it according to home food preservation guidelines and froze it in meal size portions with the use of the handy-dandy vacuum sealer!I will caution you that home canning can quickly become somewhat of an obsessive hobby.I believe you can buy Ontario lemons and limes, but IIRC they are incredibly expensive and probably chew up more resources to grow and transport than ones imported from warmer countries.

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