Essay on Locally Grown Food

1621 Words Oct 12th, 2010 7 Pages
Locally Grown Food
May 30, 2010

The consumer food movement has made terms like; fresh, natural, and organic everyday words. Now this same movement has brought a new word to the American lexicon; “Locavore.” In 2007, it was picked as the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. By definition it means someone who prefers locally grown foods to foods commercially produced. The natural and organic food movements, always conscientious of food quality and environmental impact, have transitioned largely to embracing locally grown produce. This evolution is driven by a growing dissatisfaction with the agricultural establishment and current food production methods. Although in conflict with commercial
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Industrialized agriculture is becoming increasingly globalized and more dependent on far flung markets. This entire food infrastructure in turn depends on almost entirely on the energy from fossil fuels. A crisis is inevitable as existing fossil fuel resources are depleted, and the environmental impact climbs toward a crisis threshold. The transportation of food by truck, train, plane, or ship not only consumes large quantities of fuel, it spews out large quantities of pollutants that contribute to unhealthy air and global warming. As fuel is burned for energy, it creates by-products. The leading by-products are carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Both are greenhouse gasses and contribute heavily to global warming. Although hauling food burns enormous quantities of fossil fuels; the machinery used in processing and packaging foods also depends on even more fossil fuel for energy. But these two combined are not the greatest consumers of fossil fuel in the industrial agricultural system; it is chemicals. Approximately forty percent of the energy being used goes into the production of pesticides and fertilizers. This dependence on fossil fuels by commercial agriculture is not sustainable in the foreseeable future. At present the United States imports roughly sixty percent of the petroleum it requires and these numbers are climbing higher every year. A crisis is inevitable as existing fossil fuel resources are depleted and the

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