Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More Reasons Why Local and Regional Food Is Important

As California enters into another season of drought, the US food supply is at risk. Americans get almost half of all produce from California (and almost all the nuts), an already arid state that is suffering from the worst drought since the middle ages. Here's a chart of the crops that we depend on California to provide:
We cannot keep this up. California is a naturally dry area and depending on it for food production is not logical. While California may, over time, have the water resources to provide food to its own region, it cannot continue producing the quantities of food necessary to feed the nation. 

After learning that California is the source of almonds and walnuts (and now pistachios), I've stopped buying those nuts (and I'm definitely not buying almond milk). When I do buy nuts, I try to find nuts that are grown in my region - pecans and peanuts - although often some of those are imported from overseas. 

In today's global economy, it is often difficult to do the right thing when it comes to food. However, you can make steps in the right direction by shopping at local farmers' markets, checking the place of origin on food you get from the grocery store, refraining from purchasing foods that you know come from environmentally sensitive areas, and even growing your own food. 

Learn more about the water shortage in California here


David said...

Cherie, as California's food resource wanes, Mexico's food plantations increase. I'm finding more and more food items that are from Mexico in my local grocery stores. A friend of mine that goes on short term mission trips came back from Mexico and explained to me that humungous food plantations were producing food for export all across North America. So I foresee a food shift from California to Mexico. The down side to this is much less restriction on chemicals used to grow the food. I still try to buy food from U.S.A. when I can't buy it locally but it's getting more and more difficult. It's all part of the North American trade agreement that president Bush promoted.

Have a great local food day.

Lisa said...

We were talking about this the other night at family dinner. I wish it was easier to know what state things came from. I can't get a lot of produce in Oklahoma but would like to stick to states that are closer when possible. Of course western Oklahoma is in a major drought as well, we really need to go back to the post-dust bowl agriculture methods!