The movement to eat locally grown food can be relatively easy, or impractically hard, depending on how strictly you follow it. Kris Vester, president of Slow Food Calgary, describes a locally grown organic product as one that is grown locally, is free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers and is produced in a way that does not use fossil fuels or any other matter that may affect the environment for future generations.
This definition made me think about the carrots I just harvested from my garden. Geographically, they are as local as you can get. They are free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. I didn’t use fossil fuels to put the seeds into the ground or get the carrots out of the ground.
But what about the seeds themselves? How did the seed company grow and harvest them? How were they transported to the stores where they were sold? I used a fossil fueled vehicle to go buy the seeds and bring them home. The Car Guy used a fossil fueled vehicle to pick up a load of mushroom compost that I dug into the garden (what was in the compost, and how was it made?). I used a fossil fueled mower to cut grass to mulch the garden. I used an electric pump to get the water out of the ground to put on the plants. What kind of fuel was used to manufacture my shovel or garden hose?
There are a whole lot of inputs to consider before you can really claim you have produced an environmentally friendly carrot!
It is always interesting to see what the carrots have been doing under the dark cloak of the earth. While most of the carrots have chosen to grow straight and narrow, there is a surprising variance in length – the long, the short and the tall. Some clearly did it my way, and some will never grow up now.
(Did you catch the song references? ‘The long and the short and the tall‘ is a war song written by Fred Godfrey in 1917. ‘I did it my way‘ is from a song written by Paul Anka and popularized by Frank Sinatra. ‘I’ll Never Grow Up, Now‘ is a Twisted Sister song. ‘Down the straight and narrow’ is from a song written by Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet.)
How Local is the food in your stores? Do you grow or raise any of your own food?
Carrots are a great thing to eat when you are hungry and want to stay that way.
– Author Unknown –
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Local.