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Another Reason to Go Local

January 28th, 2009

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you know I’m a dedicated localvore. I try to eat as locally as possibly for health, economic, and environmental reasons. The main reason we eat locally is for our health and safety. When you read about tomatoes, spinach, peppers, some peanut butter is tainted with salmonella, and that high fructose corn syrup contains mercury, it makes you really want to know where your food is coming from. I’m surprised more and more people aren’t searching out locally grown and raised products the more we hear about tainted food.
peanut-butter-on-knife
I know that the peanut butter I grind at the health food store isn’t tainted with salmonella. I know that the peppers and tomatoes I pick in my garden aren’t full of bacteria or pesticides either. I know that the pastured beef and chicken from my local farm are not filled with hormones, chemicals, antibiotics and other weird stuff.
basket-of-tomatoes1
Daphne Miller, MD is a family physician and associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, she wrote this great article on Civil Eats. Give it a read, I’m sure you’ll be heading to the health food store for your next jar of freshly ground peanut butter! Here’s a quick quote from her article:

Who knows. Perhaps this latest outbreak of salmonella, along with a will for change, is finally the catalyst we need. We will become a much healthier nation if our community health programs and community food systems team up, if our family doctors and family farmers link arms and, most importantly, if the two Toms, our Secretary of Health and our Secretary of Agriculture, take each other out for lunch and discuss ways to collaborate—hold the chicken satay, please.

Do salmonella outbreaks make you consider eating more locally or growing your own? If you already eat locally or grow your own, what are your reasons?

10 Comments to “Another Reason to Go Local”
  1. Emily@remodelingthislife on January 28, 2009 at 7:35 am

    We just started growing our own last year so we’re newbies but our reasons were to save money but also to know where our food is coming from. Now we find out HFCS has mercury in it. We try to avoid it in our foods but it seems to be in everything. fantastic!

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  2. warren on January 28, 2009 at 9:43 am

    We absolutely eat as locally as we can. We grow our garden for basically the same reasons you mentioned…I know what goes into my garden and it’s good exercise, i.e. we are healthier for eating from it as well as working in it.

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  3. Bridgett on January 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I totally agree with you. We buy Amish poultry here and do grow our own veggies. I am hoping summer comes soon after looking at your tomatoes in that basket :).
    I was surprised how few farmers markets there are here in southern Ohio. I moved here from east Tennessee where they are plentiful. It doesn’t get much better than getting corn from the truck at the end of the farm’s driveway!

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  4. deedee on January 28, 2009 at 11:46 am

    yeah, this last peanut butter scare has about killed me b/c our boys live on pbj sandwiches! we have gone “natural” in our cleaning products, but still have a long way to go on our food. we’re trying though. :)

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  5. Judi in Pa on January 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I just read your comment on Throwback at Trapper Creek and it made me laugh. Do you have any photos of that guinea pig? That would be a hoot! Thanks for the laugh.
    I just read the article yesterday about the mercury in corn syrup, as I was eating my morning cereal. Gulp. Yuck. As much as I know where the majority of my food is coming from, there is still alot out there that I don’t. Simply because I have always liked a bowl of cereal, I kept on eating it. Oh, gees, I’ll never keep up if I start grinding my own wheat!

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  6. Susy on January 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Judi – I actually do have photos somewhere, I think they’re at my mom’s. I’ll see if I can find them next time I head over. (Judy’s referring to a comment I made at: http://matronofhusbandry.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/lazy-daisy/ about knitting hats and scarves for my pet guinea pig when I was young). Our guinea had more hats and scarves than the rest of the family combined. He was a very warm little pig!

    Bridgett – I know, fresh corn from the back of the truck – yum yum. We have so many farmer’s markets, I’m very happy about that. My local one also seems to be the best one in the area, which I’m super happy about!

    DeeDee – It’s so important to learn and start making those changes. It really does seem overwhelming at first, but as you make little changes here and there it gets so much easier!

    Emily & Warren – Good for you guys for growing your own. It takes time & effort but is so worth it. I know Warren has bees so he doesn’t need corn syrup – just really great healthy local honey!

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  7. Joe on January 28, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Very interesting post!

    Yes, these recent salmonella outbreaks are causing me to reconsider. In an article from a University of Minnesota publication, I read that “tomatoes are picked when they are like hard Granny Smith apples.” Do I really want to eat those tomatoes…?

    I will definitely be growing more produce at home this summer.

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  8. Mangochild on January 29, 2009 at 7:25 am

    The news about mercury and the PB making its way around the news has me more convinced than ever that eating local is the way to go whenever possible. It really is scary how much is in the realm of the unknown (or rather, undisclosed).
    Yes, no way can eliminate all the risk, but at least minimizing it is possible. I too am a dedicated localvore (100 miles only, except for the Marco Polo exemption) and while it is more work, it can be relatively do-able when the resources are found and a rhythm develops. Plus, it just mentally makes me feel good to know my farmers, see the land and how they tend/grow, and, especially for the things I grow myself, having that wonderful fresh flavor.

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  9. kristin on January 29, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I think a lot more people ARE eating locally, for the very reasons you mention. Of course, you know we grow our own (meat, fruit, vegetables . . . no dairy, but we live in dairy country so that’s no problem), but mostly because we always have. Habit, I guess. Plus, growing things is just fun. And eating them? Even funner. Or more fun, if you want to be all grammatical about it.

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  10. Jesse on January 30, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I live in a place where we can really feel the effects of climate change already. That was really my impetus for eating locally and seasonally, I want to do whatever I can to reduce my impact on the environment. However, it’s a double edged sword, because due to climate change it’s becoming increasingly difficult to grow and ranch here. Very frustrating!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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