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Old 01-27-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
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Food Miles

Does anyone pay attention to, care about, is aware of, plan accordingly, to the food mile issue? Food miles are how many miles the food has traveled before you buy it. Does this matter to you? It is estimated that the fuel used to transport foods around the world would be staggering if we could determine this.

Europe is considering putting this on the label, how far the food has traveled when it reaches the market.

When you enter a grocery store, do you think about buying foods grown close to home?

Farmers' markets would be a good example of low food mile foods.

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Old 01-27-2008, 01:34 PM   #2
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You mean that mahi mahi I just bought wasn't caught in the Great Lakes?!

I suppose I do look for more locally-grown produce when I can, but so long as there's not a disease scare of some sort in a certain location or the food is highly freshness-sensitive, point of origin is less important to me than proper preservation procedures.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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I true to buy local with what I can. Granted, some stuff, you just can not find locally.

Just better all around, you are supporting the locals, saving on emissions, and normally, the farm raisied "mom and pop" type items, are more flavorful.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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I was listening to NPR the other day and they were doing a story on this. Unfortunately I only caught about 5 minutes of it. The expert they had on was actually saying that people are starting to go overboard with only eating locally and he pointed out a number of reasons why this was bad. He was not saying that it is always bad, but what he was trying to say was that there are a lot more factors you need to take into consideration then just buying local food.

One thing he said was that there are foods that grow well in certain locations, but poorly in others. You can get them to grow in the poor locations, but maybe it will take 2 or 3 times the amount of water to get the same quality product. Maybe you are saving on the gas it takes to ship the food, but the cost is more water (or whatever). It is not as simple as just saying that eating locally grow is better.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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Since I am currently feeling like I live on the tundra it makes little difference to me how far my food has to travel to get here. I just bought a 12lb box of oranges because that is what sunshine tastes like right now. I generally buy things that are grown or produced in my province, but I have no qualms about buying something that was shipped from a long distance if it is something I want. I tend to buy stuff in season and freeze things so that I have what I want in the house.

Is that close to answering your question beth?
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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I agree with Alix, it's hard to be picky about where your food is grown, mostly produce, when you live where it gets extremely cold. I grow as much as I can in summer and buy what I can at the Farmer's market, but I'd have to go pretty much all winter and alot of summer without a vegetable or fruit if I refused to eat it from far away places.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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As GB says, it's more complicated than just transportation costs. Here's a critique of a book called "The Omnivore's Dilemma," which discusses locally grown foods: An economist's critique of The Omnivore's Dilemma. - By Tyler Cowen - Slate Magazine
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
Since I am currently feeling like I live on the tundra it makes little difference to me how far my food has to travel to get here. I just bought a 12lb box of oranges because that is what sunshine tastes like right now. I generally buy things that are grown or produced in my province, but I have no qualms about buying something that was shipped from a long distance if it is something I want. I tend to buy stuff in season and freeze things so that I have what I want in the house.

Is that close to answering your question beth?
Any comments are what I'm after. This is a somewhat new concept for me and I was interested in generating any dialog concerning it. What I am more familiar with, and dedicated to, is eating seasonally. What's in season for me is white and sweet potatoes, cabbage, and what's in my freezer and canning jars! What got me thinking about food miles was a recent trip to the store where I saw apples from Ohio and the state of Washington. If I had wanted apples, I would have bought the Ohio apples.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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I'm more concerned about what chemicals they use on foods in foreign countrys. We get lots of produce from Chili here, I have no idea what pesticides, etc they allow. I would chose locally grown, in season foods over long distance for the most part.
Have you ever read a can or packet of skinless, boneless salmon..lol..i have no idea why the fish caught here is processed in Thailand or where ever. I guess its cost..but geeesch. Thats a long way to go and back.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:48 AM   #10
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We have just finished a couple of months in a row of temperatures hovering right at zero. I, for one, thank heaven for food that is shipped in. I do not wish to go back to the days when the only food you have in winter is that which you can yourself. I've been enjoying pineapples this winter! I love it. Reminds me of our Hawaii days. I never tasted a fresh pineapple until then (I was in my mid-twenties). Now I can get one at the local piggly-wiggly.

But, yes, I do know where you're coming from. In the summer I have my own little garden, and bring tomatoes and cukes to many friends. When you can eat close to home, you should. But you are in the same boat as I am; seriously. What groes in Ohio right now? I know what grows in Northern Illinois. NOTHING. We would do without vegetables and fruit from about the first of December until August if it wasn't for stuff that was shipped in.
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