Hey everybody! I heard several interesting stories in the news recently which are relevant to local food. I've included links for them here. On "The World" on NPR yesterday, they had a story about local foods that is sure to irritate some local foods supporters...it attempted to raise an argument that local foods may not always be best, because of economy of scale arguments (I've gotten into a similar argument with a professor concerning this sort of thing.) For instance, driving 20 minutes to the farmer's market to buy 3 tomatoes may use more fuel and release more greenhouse gas per tomato than trucking 50,000 tomatoes from California to an Akron, Ohio grocery store all together. It is a very one-dimensional argument which doesn't take into account the benefit to local farmers, food safety issues, pesticide issues, human rights issues to growers/harvesters in foreign countries, etc. I've included the link to listen to the story, it is only about 4 minutes long. Click on the link below and scroll down to "Does eating local really help?" to hear the story.
One print story I found is about the ubiquitousness of GMOs in processed foods (apparently 3/4 of processed foods contain them in some form!)
There's a Lot You Don't Know About What's in Your Foodhttp://www.alternet.org/story/55847Nearly three quarters of all processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, but you'd never know it by reading package labels. Author Andrew Kimbrell discusses the risks of genetic engineering and how to avoid it.
The second article concerns radiation of foods, and with fresh foods travelling farther, more of them will soon be irradiated (or "pastuerized", as they're calling it.) One more reason to choose local.
How Much of Your Food is Being Nuked Before it Hits the Shelf?http://www.alternet.org/story/55959From fruit to spices to meat, contamination fears and market possibilities are spurring a food irradiation revival. But how safe is the practice?
The third article is about why soy may not be best as your primary source of protein...although the jury is really still out on that one...
The Dark Side of Soyhttp://www.alternet.org/story/56087Is a staple of heathly diets in America making us sick?