Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mother Earth News: Eating Local - How To Find The Best Food

How to Find the Best Food

By Barbara Pleasant and Tabitha Alterman

20 ways to get fresh, sustainable food in your neck of the woods.

Would you like to reduce air pollution, recycle your money into your community, support family farmers and enjoy food that tastes better and is more nutritious than what you can buy at the supermarket? Easy! Eat more locally produced food.

Buying fresh local food also is the easiest way to avoid eating processed food with added sugar, fat and preservatives. Locally grown food tastes better because it’s fresher, and growers can plant better-tasting varieties if their fruits and vegetables won’t need to stand up to long-distance shipping.

“It’s so easy to be seduced by year-round produce at the supermarket, but when you allow yourself to be seduced all the time, you’re choosing a shadow image of the real thing,” says Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets (available on Mother’s Bookshelf). “Fragile things that don’t ship well, like apricots and lettuce, are really special when they are fresh,” Madison says.

The case for eating locally grown food is strong, but how do you make it happen? Across the continent, hundreds of people have sought answers by challenging themselves to eat more local foods — sometimes nothing but — for a day, a month or even a year (see “Taking On a Local Food Challenge"). To help you find your comfort level within the local food movement, here are 20 great ways to make eating locally work for you.

Full Story:

Mother Earth News: Eating Local - How To Find The Best Food

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Environmental Movement in the Religious Mainstream

Environmental Movement in the Religious Mainstream
Eco-friendly attitudes have increasingly moved into the mainstream of many faiths -- from Muslim clerics urging water conservation in the fast-growing Gulf states to evangelical preachers in the United States calling attention to global warming.

Organic food demand outstrips supply

Demand for organic food outstrips supply

By LIBBY QUAID, AP Food and Farm Writer Thu Jul 6, 8:16 PM ET

WASHINGTON - America's appetite for organic food is so strong that supply just can't keep up with demand. Organic products still have only a tiny slice, about 2.5 percent, of the nation's food market. But the slice is expanding at a feverish pace.

Growth in sales of organic food has been 15 percent to 21 percent each year, compared with 2 percent to 4 percent for total food sales.

Organic means food is grown without bug killer, fertilizer, hormones, antibiotics or biotechnology.

Mainstream supermarkets, eyeing the success of organic retailers such as Whole Foods, have rushed to meet demand. The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and SuperValu Inc., which owns Albertson's LLC, are among those selling their own organic brands. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said earlier this year it would double its organic offerings.

The number of organic farms — an estimated 10,000 — is also increasing, but not fast enough. As a result, organic manufacturers are looking for ingredients outside the United States in places like Europe, Bolivia, Venezuela and South Africa.

That is no surprise, said Barbara Robinson, head of the Agriculture Department's National Organic Program. The program provides the round, green "USDA Organic" seal for certified products.

Her agency is just now starting to track organic data, but Robinson believes the United States is importing far more organic food than it exports. That's true of conventional food, too.

Full story: Organic food demand outstrips supply


This week, I'll be writing on some s is important beyond the surface story. Have a blessed and healing weekend.