Saturday, February 5, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Thoughts: How Can We Make a Difference?

Although I am not real convinced that my voice has clout with politicians, I am convinced that my money does have power. Where I choose to spend it, and whom I support with those choices does send a message and make an impact no matter how small...but what if another 100 families in my city made similar choices? What if thousands all over the country did the same? How many people would it take to make a change in our current food system? I don't know. Maybe my changes are only a drop in the bucket, but I can be sure that the changes we are making help align our family values with our food choices.

In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle it states that if every U.S. citizen ate one meal from local, organic ingredients we would save 1.1 million BARRELS of oil every WEEK. That sounds like a lot to me. And that's only a start. What if everyone ate mostly locally??? Doesn't that make you think?

Currently in our country we farm 1.2 acres/person in our country. Based on predictions for 2050 we will only have about .6 acres/ change is coming. Maybe we won't have room to farm corn for the corn syrup for the 219 gallons of soda/person we drink in this country? It is possible to have enough food/person. Barbara Kingsolver calculated that their food footprint for their whole family was about 1 acre (this includes their own produce, animals, farmer's market produce, grain, and dairy). And they ate for about $.50/family member/meal! So the question is will we change when we are forced to, or will we be proactive and be part of positive change.

Here are some things you can do (if you aren't doing them already):
1-grow as much of your own food as possible
2-store and preserve(freeze, can, etc) as much our your own food as possible
3-buy as much of your food as possible at the farmer's market
4-use a food coop to buy large quantities of things like grains
5-for the rest of what you buy, look for products with the fewest ingredients and least processing(the more ingredients, the more things had to be shipped to the factory just to make the product)Example: if you have the choice between a box of cereal and a tub of oatmeal, the oatmeal has the least ingredients and least processing
6-Find local sources (farmers) for beef, chicken, pork, eggs, etc.

Maybe your family isn't ready to embark on the same journey that Barbara and her family did. Mine isn't. But we are committed to making changes, small changes over time that we can stick with. I hope you will think about what changes your family can implement.

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