Monday, November 3, 2008

Food Miles

Fifteen hundred miles is the number I most frequently hear mentioned as the average distance our food travels to reach us. In some cases, food that has been locally grown is shipped away somewhere to be processed before being shipped back to appear on local shelves. The inefficiencies are astounding.

That's why I'm thrilled to be seeing more and more things like the 100 Mile Diet , where the goal is to purchase food grown within a 100 mile radius of home, and even the 100 Foot Diet, which should be self-explanatory.

We've turned something relatively basic (food production) into something very complex and convoluted. Let's return to basics. If the people of Havana, Cuba were able to grow 90% of their produce within the confines of their city, surely there is no excuse to be shipping the majority of our foods thousands of miles. (Click here to read an excellent article on Havana's urban gardens.) We have evidence that food can be grown successfully in even major urban centers, so there is no good excuse left. It can be done, and it needs to be done. And it is being done--bit-by-bit. We're slowly catching on.

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