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yesterday I listened to speaking of faith on NPR. Krista was interviewing Barbara Kingslover (author of the poisonwood bible) about the ethics of eating. Barbara and her family moved to southern Virginia (god help her) and made a project of eating for a year only those things they could grow/raise themselves. It seems the family has written a book about the experience, called animal, vegetable, miracle.
In the interview, kingslover talked about how we in this country have forgotten to ask questions about where our food comes from and what it takes to get it to us. She brings up hurricane Katrina and addresses the fact that it isn’t simply the government’s responsibility to provide infrastructure….but that the tragedy was also a result of the vulnerability caused when an area cannot support itself on what it grows. She asks the question “how long can we live like this and expect to not pay a price” in light of how much of the world’s resources we are using. Some people give up meat in order to eat more sustainably. She gave up bananas, citing the use of fossil fuels to provide them(for transport and refrigeration). She did some thinking about it and decided it wasn’t cruelty free in light of the resources being used.
I find myself convicted by the points she brought up. I love sushi! How much of my food comes from china or japan? How much of my food comes from California instead of being grown locally? It used to be that almost all the food a community consumed was grown locally and organically. Now it has become a “special” thing to eat that way. We import exotics from overseas while the farmers around us are struggling! How many fossil fuels are burn to bring me the food I eat? I am very interested in reading this book….and in talking with ross about what we can do to change our eating habits. I agree with her that we have a responsibility to think about the overall economic and ecological impact of our habits, not only locally, but globally.
I am also torn up about it…..because some people have allergies and some people have such strong dislikes of certain foods that they need more specialized foods. If everyone started being more conscious about what they ate to the point where there was no market for imported foods, the prices on those items would go up proportionally. Is it really such a smart thing to shift the market in this way?

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2eclipse

August 2009

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