Monday, October 26, 2009

Sowing the Seeds of a Good Food Revolution

One of the fun things about following the sustainability movement day in and day out is that you start to see patterns and themes crop up and fade away.  The biodiesel craze has faded considerably, for example.  But rising very quickly is a movement to revolutionize our food production and delivery system -- to make it more sustainable for both the earth and ourselves.

Here's a call to action for a revolution from GreenerBuildings:

By bringing locally grown, organic, nutritiously rich food to a table near you, the good food revolution can help us tackle these larger societal issues (e.g., climate change and health care), and benefit us all.

We need a revolution in our food delivery system because the global $3.2 trillion processed-food industry is undermining our health and significantly contributing to our carbon footprint.

Let's take a quick look at how produce in Massachusetts makes it to our grocery store shelves. Quite likely it was picked in California's Central Valley, the mother of all breadbaskets. The produce journeyed across the country from the field to the wholesaler to a retailer and finally to your dinner table. Total travel time, about 12 to 14 days.

Have you ever wondered how much nutrition is left after that voyage? Not much. You're largely eating vacuous cellulose -- even if you buy it from Whole Foods. This long journey also exposes it to multiple handlers and contaminants that create health scares -- recalled meat, tomatoes, peanuts -- that are regular features on the nightly news.

Have you ever wondered how many greenhouse-gas-emitting-food miles it took for that nutritionally leached meal to arrive on your plate?

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