It used to be that you could go to your local food market and stroll down the aisles, surrounded by an abundance of food that hailed from all corners of the globe. You could be oblivious to the actual origins of those products, purchasing goodies from all parts of the world with great abandon. Grapes from
Yet many times companies seem to be skirting the labeling requirements. You often need to read the really, really small print to discover where your fruit and vegetables have been grown. And are the organic vegetables flown in from
Why should we care where our food comes from? Recent interest has moved from organic everything into local food. Sustainable food purchasing is not only about low levels of pesticides, it’s also about the carbon footprint of your food: how far has your food flown or been trucked? Food can easily have a carbon footprint that outweighs the food itself. Out-of-season strawberries are a good example. For the health-conscious, it’s important to know where your food comes from because that changes what is invisible but present on your food. If you’re not buying organic, this is especially important. Food grown in other places might contain pesticides that are not permitted in your country.
For example, in the
There’s a market for sustainable local food. Is it being served by US-based food labeling laws? While these laws are a start, companies have a long way to go before they can truly say that fruits and vegetables for sale in stores are safe and sustainable.