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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Meet Your Food

<gine yourself cultivating with a shopping cart or hunting in the woods with a coupon booklet. Is that more preposterous than not knowing about your own food? We have lost a sense of our food and what it is, where it comes from, or how to get it. Foods of tremendous variety reliably appear so close together that it has inspired a dance move implying that instead of expending effort to produce food, we can acquire it with a single quick step and deft pluck off the shelf. We find it convenient, but should realize this does not come without cost. The gargantuan industry that strives to present you with food products everywhere you go promotes a culture of mass-produced, mass-processed, and mass-transported goods.

Championing your interests, the LocaVore Movement responds by promoting a better culture of food. Coming from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, Hannah Marty ’17 describes this as “a movement to localize food production and support healthier and more sustainable food options.” She focuses on three big benefits of consuming local produce: sustainable production, healthier and tastier food, and community connections.

Eating locally means no cross-country shipping. “Most food gets shipped halfway across the country,” Marty said. “We pollute so much just moving food around.” She added that shipping food raises the cost and forces producers to pick their harvest long before it’s ripe. “Tomatoes have to be picked green and left to ripen sitting in a hot train car,” she explained, adding that transport assists the spread of invasive species.

Shipping food also frequently requires the use of chemical treatment and preservatives. Bagged carrots, for example, undergo several chemical washes to ‘clean’ them but begin to make them toxic if eaten regularly. Other canned or packaged foods typically receive chemical preservatives, artificial sugars, and excessive salt to prevent decay. “Getting fresh food that’s picked ripe just tastes better,” Marty explained. Local growers with community support don’t even need to use pesticides or steroids (which end up tainting the food you eat) like mass-producers do and frequently choose not to use them.

Community is where you come in! “Buying shares in CSA farms is the easiest way to get involved,” Marty said. Buying farm shares means you are guaranteed to receive fresh local produce and can build connections with the farmers: how often do you know exactly where your food comes from or who grows it? Bon Appetit also works hard to provide local produce, hosting themed days of all-local food. Marty recommends looking for local spinach, since the plants become sweetest after the first frost in autumn, but remarked, “Anything grown naturally tastes better. It doesn’t matter what you get- just get it fresh!”

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