Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Silly Question?

Help me out with this. It's apple season in Michigan. We picked some fantastic Michigan apples just a couple weeks ago ourselves. So why did this apple that I bought at Meijer make the trek all the way from New Zealand??? Nothing against New Zealand, mind you. I just don't see the sense in it.
Going to the farmers' markets was one of the things I was looking forward to most upon returning to Michigan, and it has not disappointed - Chloe and I will be making a stop at our local market later on today, in fact. There are lots of great reasons to buy locally, but as Chloe's up early from her morning nap (although if she's up "early" three days out of five, can I really say it's "early?"), I'll have to be brief.
  • It just tastes better than the supermarket stuff. Really, it does - it's being bred more for taste than how well it'll travel from, say, New Zealand to Michigan. Try it and see for yourself!
  • It's no secret that Michigan's economy is suffering. I just read the other day that our unemployment rate is somewhere upwards of 7%, compared to our nationwide average of just over 4%. But did you know that agriculture is the second-largest component of Michigan's economy, after automotive? Buying local supports our local economy and keeps jobs in Michigan.
  • Keeping farming profitable also allows farmers to keep farming rather than selling their land to developers, which slows urban sprawl and preserves open space.
  • An awful lot of fossil fuel was burned and pollution added to the atmosphere to bring my apple from New Zealand to Michigan. It just seems to make sense to limit that sort of trek to things that can't be produced locally. There is an environmental cost when things come so far.

My challenge to you: Check out your local farmer's market this week! Most are open on the weekends and often at midweek, too. Send me a photo and I'll post it on this blog (now is that an incentive or a disincentive?)!

If you live in Michigan and don't know where your local farmer's market is, go to this website to find out. Do it now! Then click here to learn more about community-supported agriculture. Yum!


Blogger Karla W. said...

Great minds think alike. :)

I was thinking of bloging on the same type of thing. Yesterday I bought an Avocado from the grocery store that was from Chili. Hmmm. The wierd theing is the food co-op has similar produce for around the same price that is organic and if not local at least from the US!

10/03/2007 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ben Wildeboer said...

I hear ya, sister. I always complain to Sam about it as well. Luckily the grocery market we shop at usually at least has some Washington apples (if not Michigan).

Ann Arbor also has a great farmers' market, though we don't go as often as we should. Too bad we can't make it to the mid-week edition. :)

10/03/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Betsy Joy said...

I bet you'd really like the book by a guy named Dr. Matthew Sleeth, who wrote Serve God Save the Planet which gets into all these great practical reasons to live simply... and to buy from locals. :)

10/07/2007 09:43:00 PM  

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