Friday, April 28, 2006

Why eat local?

Everyday Worstedwitch throws me a tidbit for my greening soul.

An abstract from her post "Everybody's Doin' the Localmotion":

"'Eat local' is a mantra I’ll never tire of pimpin’ for a myriad reasons, the principal of which is the concept of “food miles,” a measure of the distance your food travels to get from the farm to your plate. (The minimum distance that North American produce typically travels is 1,500 miles. Grapes can clock 2,143 miles to get from vineyards in California to markets in Chicago.) Because of the proportional increase in oil consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions, the higher the mileage on your food’s odometer, the greater its (and by extension, your) negative impact on the environment. Factor in the fuel needed to process, package, and preserve your food, and the plot thickens like molten molasses in a steel vat. Blame industrialization, world travel, and increasingly sophisticated taste buds. Or finger cheap overseas labor costs. However we got into this mess, the fact is that mounting food miles, in the face of a global peak-oil crisis, is an issue we ALL need to address."
Now all I need to do is translate that to Singapore, SEA terms. I really want to get the damn eat local thing off. Is that possible in import-dependent Singapore? If even the government can't solve this problem, can I?

So far, only 2 person has applauded by inclination towards sustainable agriculture and food subsistency in Singapore. 1) Robert, the trainer at the NEA workshop who is angmoh and works for an NGO in Thailand - a food exporter. 2) Savage, but in a purely academic level only. Everybody else is pure skeptical.

This is so depressing. The other day when I told this fellow YEE about why I decided to drop the farm project, she was all indignant and said "hey Im interested in food too"...

RIGHT... then why is her group doing recycling? The most expounded on problem in SIngapore yet never moving ahead at all. Come on people, diversification is needed here. Why keep harping on something and in term making Singaporeans feel that there is no problem but recycling problem in this urban island. The more we need to show people what is out there.

Yes the extreme end of the spectrum is nature conservation but that's not all there is to it! What about consumerism? When we are not only conspicuous consumers but also consumers that seem to be left without a choice?

Of course, joining a Community-Supported Agriculture program in your neighborhood is one of the best ways to get your hands on local fruits and veggies. Another favorite resource of mine is, which helps you locate restaurants, farmers’ markets, CSAs, grocery/co-ops that offer sustainably grown food in your area.
What are the chances of me actually starting any of those in Singapore? Perhaps the only way about this is to start a consumer guide at the very least. But, again, I cannot do this alone! How do I get people interested in it to do with me? I must say though, my parents are more supportive of the farming thing than the greenies I know. I think I'm disappointing them by not pursueing this.

Actually, one of the things holding me back is that I did not want to start a project and then pull out of it when I leave the country. The woes of monkeys these days, our primate ancestors surely would not be able to imagine. I wonder if dear Mitochondrial Eve had these concerns when she left Africa for greener pastures. Alas.

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