Come in. Have a cup of wild blackberry tea. Let’s figure out your local food shed, which is like your watershed, only with food. It’s all the rage in certain circles—trying to eat locally, within 100-250 miles from your home. Atlanta’s kind of new to the whole organic thing—like lots of places. It’s really exploded in the last few years—so, I’m going with 250 miles so I can dip into as many organic farms as possible, and that won’t even include the wonderful cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy in South Georgia. :(
I’ll keep it short and sweet, and try to make it informative and sort of balanced, although that’s kind of hard because I do have strong opinions on issues related to this topic. Three facts in particular are what really shocked me into action:
- Pesticides use in agriculture expanded significantly following World War II as a way to reuse war-time nerve agents. It’s not like "conventional" farming is traditional. My generation has basically been guinea pigs.
- Growth hormones have only been added to milk since 1993. That means my children are guinea pigs as well, unless I do something about it. So that’s why I’m here. Trying to figure out something different. Trying to make a difference. Trying to see where we took the wrong turn, and how we can get back on a different road. Which I believe is local. And slow.
- The whole "food miles" thing regarding how much oil is needed to transport fruits and veggies across the country or from other countries—see my next article for a summary of this issue—plus, of course, the petroleum that’s used in pesticides.
So, let’s give it a shot. Get out a map. Choose your foodshed mile limit. Draw a big circle around your home with the foodshed mile limit number being the radius. That’s it. I know a bunch of the farmers already, but I’m looking to get to know them better, and to know more of them. I’m going to visit a wider variety of farmers’ markets and farms, order from websites in my foodshed, and explore some of the organizations that are working hard to support all of this. I’ll share with you the woes, the wows and what you can do now, and I’ll try to keep it brief. Check back for FoodShed articles every Tuesday and Thursday.
Some folks are eating only within their foodshed. Some are eating one meal a week, or a percentage of each meal. Some are making an effort, however small or unmeasured or erratic or even just in theory, by just being aware.
View my profile page here