Reason #537,307,738 to buy local
"My Forbidden Fruits (and Vegetables)" over at the NY Times should be required reading for anyone who, oh I don't know, EATS FOOD IN THIS COUNTRY. Not only does it suck that huge farms are able to force small farmers out of business, but it's *dangerous* to leave your food supply in the hands of so few. It's bad for prices, it's bad for the environment (both because of the pollution that must be generated to distribute this food all over the country and because large farms MUST use techniques that are damaging to the environment, even if they are "organic") and it's risky as hell. What if disaster strikes one of these farms and they lose most of their crops one year from weather or disease? As global warming continues to affect us, freak weather patterns and bug attacks will only happen more frequently. Yes, these potential disasters are all fairly unlikely. But if something happens just once, the consequences could be devastating, especially for those who are already struggling to afford enough food to eat.
For information on how organic doesn't necessarily mean what you think it does, I highly recommend this long but interesting and informative blurb from Michael Pollan. It may sound rather familiar to those who have read Omnivore's Dilemma.
In other news, I made mayonnaise and 50% whole wheat bread yesterday. And on Friday, I spent $20 on fruit - $16 of that was for just three cherimoyas, but man was I glad to see them. January - March is imported cherimoya season, and I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't find any this year.
Food budget? What's that?