One of the big things I’ve been up to lately is a lot of reading and learning about food issues.
It started with a conversation that happened at one of Suzi’s cooking classes (Suzi is a local chef who periodically invites 8 or so people to her fabulous kitchen to learn recipes around a theme. And then eat. It’s been fun to get to know other locals too). One of the guests was talking about how organic wasn’t that big of deal. Which concerned me since he owns a small specialty food store that sells organic. But what worried me more was that all I could say ‘organic good’ -I didn’t have my ducks in a row to be able to cite the latest studies and such.
A lot of others were also wanting to dig deeper so we all met again and formed a Mosier arm of Gorge Grown. GG is a group of people/farmers who have been busy setting up a local food system via farmers markets, CSAs and some awareness raising.
Only 1% of the food consumed in the Gorge was raised here -everything else is shipped in from other markets. The average carrot travels 1500 miles. And I’m learning that this has huge effects on our health, the local economy, the environment and big scary things about of our dependence on oil (not just for transportation -40% of the oil we use goes to fertilizers and pesticides).
So our group did the community garden last summer and in the winter we all did the Menu for the Future discussion group. I’ve also pulled together a ‘why buy local’ section for the Gorge Grown website, so lots of reading and getting my head around the issues.
But Gorge Grown has purposely set the issues of organic aside to make it inclusive of all the current orchards and farms -so I’m now beginning to tackle the whole GMO thing. To read the core studies and get a complete picture of the issues. So far it scares the sh*t out of me.