It started this year, I think. I’m not really sure. It’s a hard thing to pin down and say, “this is when it began,” but it’s been on my mind for a while. I’m sure that it started in part because I listen to NPR and other liberal media. I’m sure your all on pins and needles now, so I should just come out with it.

I’ve become increasingly concerned with where my food comes from.

There. I said it. I feel a lot better. I’d like to explain a little bit of what I mean by that, but it’s a hard things to fully explain because it been growing in my mind for a while now. The best I can do is offer a few “dots” and hope that they will all connect to help you see the whole picture. This might take a few posts, but this first “dot” might be the best place to start.

  • I spent most of my growing up years in Wisconsin in a town of 7000 people. Everywhere I went I would drive past farms filled with fields of cows, pigs, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat, oats, and the list goes on. I became so familiar with seeing those fields grow all season. Near the end of my time living in Wisconsin I could read the corn pretty well and know how long till the harvest. I became used to the growing cycles.Since I’ve moved to Colorado, my interaction to farm land is limited to driving through the eastern plains as I leave the state. I miss seeing those farms. I miss the smell of agriculture. Now, the closest thing to cattle grazing that I see is on the rare occasion that I stop in a fast food restaurant. OK, I know, that wasn’t fair; it just sat there in my mind, I had to let it out. When I lived in Wisconsin I held a sense of pride about living where I was. I felt like I knew where my food was coming from. I realize that most of my meals didn’t come from the produce grown on those farms, but there was something about living in that type of community that made me feel that way.

    I started to look at tags on the fruit and vegetables I was buying from the grocery store. Have you ever noticed them? Avocados from Ecuador. Bananas from Honduras. Apples from Washington. Oranges from Mexico. Take a look the next time you go grocery shopping. Where did the food in the store come from? (warning: potential liberal thoughts ahead) Then I started to think of the amount of energy expended to get that banana into the store.  After thinking about those thoughts for a while I start to think about the “freshness factor” of food that’s been trucked all the way from Honduras.  Those thoughts lead to thoughts about the chemicals used to help the banana stay fresh until it reaches the store.  And then my thoughts start to spiral out of control because I really like bananas.

In light of all this going on in my mind, I realized that I couldn’t just think about these things any more.  I needed to start doing something about it.  So last Saturday I stopped at a farmers market.  I’ve been looking for one for a few weeks and finally realized that there was one near our apartment.  Here’s what I bought:

4 ears of sweet corn
1 head of lettuce
2 yellow squash
1 lb of green beans
1 eggplant
4 peaches

Purchased for less then $12, and all grown in Colorado.  I like that.
I think I’ve written enough for now.  I’ll try to add a few dots in the weeks to come.

What do you think?  Am I going hippie-liberal in my thinking?  Is the thought of eating local food ridiculous?