Many people are becoming more concerned about food quality, food security, and greenhouse gas emissions caused by the long-distance trucking of their food. The best thing you can do is to eat local, eat in season. And here in the GVRD, that is becoming easier all the time!
Did you know that…
· While there are many farmers in the Fraser Valley, most sell their produce to large distributors via advance contracts. It is hard for them to take time off from farming (what they do best) to travel around to sell at markets. This story in the Georgia Straight illustrates the complexity of what faces our local farmers.
· Growing vegetables in hothouses in BC causes fewer CO2 emissions than trucking them in from Mexico and California. Typically, you will save about 70% of the weight of the vegetable in greenhouse gas savings by buying local produce.
· If you have to make the choice between eating trucked-in organic produce or local conventionally-grown produce, it’s better for the environment to get the local stuff.
· The provincial government supports local products via its “buyBC” campaign. There are specific guidelines for terms such as: BCgrown, BCmade, and BCproduct; in general, these items have >50% local content.
· In BC, food security is closely tied to the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve or ALR. Without the ALR, the 100-mile diet will become impossible. With real estate prices sky-high, the ALR is under constant pressure. A recent report (PDF) by the David Suzuki Foundation gives some recommendations regarding the ALR.
· “Community Supported Agriculture” is another model of supporting local farmers.