Watch (Fo)odometer to learn about the petroleum needed for conventional food processing, production, and packaging.
Some interesting things I learned from the video:
- 10% of the energy used in the U.S. (100 billion gallons of oil) is used to grow food.
- Add the energy used to process, market, and refrigerate this food and it shoots up to 17%.
- Conventional tomatoes are picked when hard & green so that they can survive the average 1569 mile trip to storage warehouse. They are gased with hormones (synthetic, petroleum-based ethylene) to "ripen." (More on that here.)
- Supermarket foods cost 50% more than those purchased via CSA.
- 21% of the money goes to farmers when we purchase conventional foods. 100% of money spent on a CSA farm box subscription goes to the farmer.
I used to belong to a CSA. I don't right now but after seeing this I wish I did. When I belonged to a CSA my kitchen was a food cemetery and I felt bad so I quit. Now I'm thinking it wasn't the worst thing in the world, compared to the environmental cost of my eating avocados in New England.
Action steps I'm willing to commit to in light of what I've learned:
- Choose local, fresh foods at Whole Foods Market and experiment with more seasonal recipes.
- Crowd out bananas and avocados by adding on more winter squash. I know there are a few dozen other foods I should probably reduce (especially coconut products) but a girl's gotta start some where. (Is there a support group for this?!!)
What are you willing to do to reduce the amount of oil in your food? Check out localharvest.org to find a farmer's market or CSA near you.
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