Globalization of Food Supply
Nebraska is over 1 ,Mimi away, so the beef travels a great distance and uses much fuel to get to consumers’ tables. In addition to the fuel cost, some of the mid-grade quality steaks are packaged in Styrofoam and cellophane, both of which contribute to the product’s carbon footprint since these materials use some form of petroleum. There are local cattle farms only about Mimi away from my city, so the alternative to chain-grocery steak is to seek out steaks produced from these farms. These locally-raised steaks are available at our downtown farmer’s market, and in small grocery stores within the city in which the cattle is raised… UT nowhere else. Personally, I am a vegetarian and have been for seven and a half years now, so I choose to eat different protein altogether as an alternative to steak. As for the Jasmine rice, there are few U. S. Manufacturers who produce this product, therefore the rice must come all the way here from Thailand. Because Thailand is also thousands of miles away, the rice is expensive due to fuel and handling costs. The main concern with growing rice is the bevels of arsenic found in it, however both CA and Thailand-grown rice have been found to have lower levels than rice grown in other areas (Eng, 2012).
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It seems illogical to ship rice to the states from another country when CA is one of the leading growers of this product, however I imagine that the bottom line is ultimately, money. Instead of buying rice grown in Thailand, a person could easily find Jasmine rice grown in CA via the internet, or at smaller chain grocery stores, and if Jasmine rice is not locally available, then brown or babysat rice might be more easily located. Rally’s recoil comes from multiple sources, some relatively local. The broccoli that I bought came from Quadrangular, CA approximately Mimi away, so the term “local” would be a stretch in this case.
However some say that mm’ is “close enough to count,” as described by Crosier in the article, “The 100-mile diet,” (2007). The packaging varies from something as simple as a small rubber band around the stock to shrink wrap to a plastic bag, all of which use some form of fossil fuel in its production. At the downtown farmer’s market in my city, there is always an abundance of locally grown recoil, much of which comes from farms approximately 100-1 mm’ north of here, and it is usually reasonably priced in comparison to the chain stores’.
The main difference here is the broccoli from the farmer’s market must be cut down and the chain stores’ broccoli can be found in already-cut form. Therefore, convenience comes at not Just a high monetary price to the consumer, but also a higher environmental price. The coffee at Rally’s comes from multiple sources ranging from CA to Columbia, however the type that I purchased was Struck brand and came hipped in gargantuan bulk units, this still requires a great deal of fuel.
One additional component of this type of coffee to consider is its packaging. I have a Kerri coffee maker that requires “K-cups” which are individual coffee servings wrapped in plastic and foil. While they are recyclable, the tops must be ripped off, the coffee discarded, and the plastic rinsed before being placed in the recycle bin. I’m sure I can speak for many other sleepy, busy parents when I say that I do not take the time to do this, and Just throw these cups into the trash.
It might be worthwhile o investigate the landfill impact these disposable cups make annually, especially since the landfill system that is currently in place does not really allow for decomposition due to the dirt/trash/dirt layering that occurs, blocking out bacteria that helps break down trash (Truffle & Haze). Thankfully, there are alternatives to K- cups such as using the refillable single-serve coffee compartment that also comes with the Kerri coffee maker and can be filled with any type of regular ground coffee. However, in the spirit of the 100-mile diet, coffee Just doesn’t work.
Tea or hot cider eight be more easily obtained on a local basis as suggested in the article “The lure of the 100-mile diet,” by M. Roosevelt (2006). Lastly, the strawberries are the exception in the case of finding locally-grown produce in a chain grocery store. Rally’s carries strawberries grown in the fertile central valley of CA, and is therefore cutting down the travel cost of this food. But, strawberries happen to be third on dillydallying. Coma’s list of The New Dirty Dozen, a compilation of foods that carry anywhere from 30-60 different types of pesticides on them by the time they reach the tore (Shapely, 2013).
Over time, pesticides can be extremely dangerous, especially to the organisms at the top of the food chain because such beings lack cells to remove pesticides and will experience “objectification or biological magnification” as a result (Truffle & Haze). Therefore, it is wiser to buy organic strawberries because they are free of pesticides and are also easily found at local farmer’s markets like the one in the downtown area of my city. To many consumers, it is Just too much work and effort to completely revamp the means by which they obtain food.
We are a society of instant gratification, and going to the grocery store is not usually a time of intense contemplation of our individual global impact. It is also easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this problem is too big for this type of movement to change, however as teacher and 100-mile dieter, Pat McGovern stated, although “she feels powerless to fight the globalization of the food supply, locally she can Vote with [her] food dollar three times a dayвЂ?breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” (Roosevelt, 2006). Personally, these articles and textbook readings have re-inspired me to shop at the farmer’s market secularly again.
My family and I were in the practice of shopping locally for about a year, but then stopped when I got a full-time Job. Now that our schedules are a little more flexible, and we have found a farmer’s market that is held on Saturday mornings (the old one was on Fridays), we can restart these healthy habits and help to keep our food close to home. References Roosevelt, M. (2006). The Lure of the 100-Mile Diet. Time, 167(24), 78. Cotter, S. (2007). The OHIO-Mile Diet. E: The Environmental Magazine, 18(5), 42. Cooper, C. (2007). 100 miles and counting. Food In Canada, 67(3), 7.