I just read an interesting article in Time magazine (thanks for the subscription, Mum!) proclaiming, ‘local is the new organic’ — the author was compelled to write the story when he found himself wavering in the produce aisle, unable to choose between the organic apple from California or the pesticide-spritzed apple grown locally in New York.
In the end, he goes for the latter, because although the organic one may be better for him nutrient-wise (this hasn’t been 100% scientifically proven yet), the locally grown one is fresher, which means it’s probably better tasting, possibly just as good for him (again, yet to be proven) and most definitely better for the environment, as it didn’t require days on the highway in an air-polluting truck to get there.
Of course, it would be the ultimate bestest to be able to eat food that’s both local and organic (sorry, I’m really into the italics today), but it seems that just about the only people able to do so are Californians — other climates are either too wet, too dry, too hot, too cold, too dark, too sunny, etc. So for all the non-Californians, there’s always going to be that little bit of stress upon being confronted with eight varieties of potatoes and having to go through each one trying to figure out which one to get.
I’ve been convinced by Mr. Cloud (by the way, is that not just the cutest name ever?) that buying local is more important, at least when it comes to my value system, but being the soft-core environmentalist that I am, I’m not about to restrict myself to the 100-mile diet just yet. I am, however, going to only buy food that comes from within North America.
Obviously, I’ll try to keep it within Canada, even within Ontario — and within my apartment when it comes to basil, parsley and mint! — as often as I can, but I’m a titch nervous about what’s going to get ruled out. Already avocados are gone, and that sucks because I love my Barefoot Contessa guacamole, and no longer will I be able to slice bananas on top of my Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal each morning.
But I might as well try, right? Oh yeah, just a couple caveats: One, if I’m at a restaurant, all bets are off (but that’s usually only once a week); and Two, alcoholic beverages don’t count, either (seriously, there’s a reason why Canadian vineyards are only known for their ice wine).