..in aug of 08' i was in vancouver, shopping at famous foods. now famous foods is a supposed alternative store that carries, for the most part, organic and "natural" foods. i must admit that it has an impressive range of products. when i came to the produce section i noticed some stuff from the US. there were also veggies and fruit that did not say where they were from. i wanted some green onions so i asked the produce worker where they were grown. he told me china. i was stunned! here it was the middle of summer, there were plenty of bc farmers yet they were getting veggies from china! i set the basket of food i was carrying on the floor and left the store. i was very upset. the alternative market, i realized, was just that..a market. 1st and foremost concerned with maximizing profit by feeding off peoples desire to live and eat in a better way. i headed back home and once there began to look up relevant web sites. i had decided that i would eat only foods that were produced locally.
..through aug and into sep i attempted to buy only local. i soon realized that this would not be easy an easy task. so much of what i liked to eat was not local. other than some produce, eggs, dairy and bread i had no idea where i could get foods that were local. i decided to give myself one year to find this info out and to make the adjustments i needed to be successful in eating just local. and to do this in such a way that i was not going to cost me an arm and a leg.
..that year came due as of oct/09 and ever since then i buy all my food local. my major challenge was getting through the winter which i managed to do. i have defined local as any food grown or produced in bc. i haven't included restaurants in this as i've yet to decide whether this is more entertainment than nourishment. i eat out about once a week and it has become important in my life as i mostly share this activity with a dear friend.
..what i discovered by choosing to eat local was a community of people dedicated to this cause. not only was this fulfilling my desire to do better on the environmental front but i began to see the political implications. this community had no formal leadership, no formal politics and no formal declarations other than eat local. yet it was working. working in the sense that it is a growing movement both locally and internationally. working in the sense that more ways are being found to eat local such as buying a share of a grain crop. working in the sense that many grocery stores are now clearly identifying locally produced foods. working in the sense that it is independent of global food cartels. i believe this movement to be participatory democracy.
..i've begun this thread not so much to have a debate or attempt to define but more to discover ways we can grow this movement in a participatory way. i will post various food projects that i have found around vancouver.