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From Where I Sit

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August 15, 2012
Jim Birchard
by: Jim Birchard

When Not To Buy Local


In the past I have often talked about the importance of buying local food, supporting local farmers and frequenting the local farmers market as much as possible.

However I've had a bit of a change of heart. I will try to buy local as much as possible and I will, every Saturday morning, support my local farmers market.

But having just spoken with Doctor Pierre Desrochers about his book, "The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet" -- I now have a better understanding about why it's also important to look beyond what he calls your local food shed.

Desrochers and his wife's book asserts that local self-sufficiency is the worst thing you can do for the environment, since it requires many crops to be grown in the wrong places, with damaging ecological consequences.

He argues building and heating greenhouses to grow food that is not natural to a region, creates more environmental issues than shipping the same produce from thousands of miles away to your local supermarket.

Desrochers also claims that paying more for locally produced foods results in having less income to spend elsewhere to support the community's economy.

He goes on to say that by buying tomatoes from Mexico, we are helping pay the wages of farm workers in that country.

By providing them with an income than in turn could allow them to purchase products exported from Canada to Mexico, we help create jobs in this country.

An interesting and certainly controversial stand dealing with where we get our food.

I will continue to support local food producers, but now when I do purchase produce from other countries, I won't feel all that guilty about it.

I'm Jim Birchard

 

From Where I Sit is on 560 CFOS Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 7:08 am and 5:08 pm

Posted: 2012-08-15 13:20:17

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