This week’s assignment was to seek out a book on sustainability.
In my search I ran across one book which struck and surprised me. Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet follows the story of a young Canadian couple who take it upon themselves to eat foods both grown and processed within 100 miles of their home for an entire year. As I continued to read the description I was shocked by how little food is grown near consumers. According to the book, the average North American meal travels 1500 miles from field to plate. I expected heavily processed foods and grocery store goodies to be out for the count, but surprisingly, the couple crossed things like flour, sugar, and beer off the list.
As consumers we are so unaware of where our products are from. I am currently sporting a sweatshirt from Honduras, shoes produced in Vietnam, and eating cranberries from Massachusetts. The transport and production involved in all of the things we buy and consume is tremendous. The young couple from Plenty, couldn’t have known what they were getting themselves into.
While we can’t all consume products grown and manufactured within 100 miles of our residencies, we should all be more mindful of the great lengths and resources it takes to get those apples into the grocery store, or manufacture your favorite pair of jeans. The more vegan and local we eat, the more green we can be. Everything we own and consume has a carbon footprint of its own that we should be aware of and sympathetic to.