Eat Local and Fresh, Help the Planet (and Yourself)

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating is the kind of book that induces humility in even the most ardent enthusiast of local foods and all the environmental reasons this choice makes sense (i.e. the high cost of food miles, for one). I speak from experience. Mea culpa, I find it really difficult to give up tea (Assam, Ceylon), coffee (Costa Rica) and even papayas – although why Publix and Costco keep importing these from Belize when they grow in our backyards is a question for another blog post.

So I was really happy to see that Don Hall of Transition Sarasota is doing well with his local food guide and festival – Greater Sarasota’s Eat Local Resource Guide and Directory, now in its third year. Imagine! A whole week dedicated to exploring what’s in season and available locally. It is exactly the kind of action that engages people, climate politics – and even politics – aside. For me, signing the 10% Local Food Challenge was a no-brainer. It’s a little step everyone can take that leads to bigger steps.

Farmers Markets make sourcing locally relatively easy year round here in South Florida where I live, although be aware that not every vendor is offering 100% local produce. You have to ask the question. I am totally crazy about Diane Cordeau and Karl Frost of Kai-Kai Farms for their dedication to growing sustainably and delivering a box of beautiful food to us and other CSA members at the market every two weeks. On off-weeks, I can also pick up whatever I need to fill in at a discounted price. No, it isn’t ‘cheap’ food and it certainly isn’t fast, um, you have to actually cook it. The truth is, cheap and fast are inaccurate because the long-range effects of the processed food industry will be calculated in poor health, obesity and lives foreshortened.

To that point, I was surfing around today and came across Stephen Colbert’s interview with Dr. Robert Lustig a few weeks ago. You really need to watch it. Kudos and deep gratitude to our comedians for having the courage few politicians do!

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