They as a country tend to value the finer things in life – for them, it’s better to eat a small amount of something truly exquisite than a lot of a poorer-quality product. You’ll bond over the amazing new foods you try, what you should try next, and what cool restaurants you should go to while traveling. Eating local foods is better for you, for the environment, and for your taste buds. Of course it’s difficult to know for sure if this economic impact will expand beyond the city level. If inspectors don't catch unsafe products before they end up on grocery store shelves, news only gets out after people who have eaten them contract food poisoning. Fears of food shortages driven by population growth, climate change, and waning fertile land have spawned a global food crisis. Additionally, the less food travels, the more it economically benefits the community where it was produced and then purchased. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and creative writing and has lived in India and Nepal, volunteering in animal rescue organizations in both countries. This is called mono-cropping. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. Also, and perhaps more significantly, technology allows food to be stored longer, which allows more distant (and cheaper) shipping. These same economic forces also explain why the label on a bottle of Tropicana brand apple juice says it ‘contains concentrate from Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Brazil, China, and the United States.’”. Therefore, you can expect a lot of fresh fish and chicken, a lot of beautiful fresh fruit, rice, and not much else. Sure, it might not taste exactly like that pasta you had in Rome, but hey in the real world you can tell yourself it’s just as good, right? Eating imported foods, especially fruits and vegetables, often have added chemicals added, such as chemicals to prevent the fruits and vegetables from ripening, artificial flavor or color is often added, making the food unhealthy and often having dangerous side effects. A Country’s Food Tells You A Lot About Their Culture. There’s nothing better than experiencing new food with others who are just as ecstatic about it as you are. And that’s the key—it just would not be feasible for Emmenegger to bring in all local food for various reasons, one being finances, another supply. Much of the food consumed in the United States is imported, including an estimated 60 percent of fresh fruits and 80 percent of seafood, according to a March 2011 article in Scientific American. (That’s not to say that all local food is getting to you hours after being plucked from the ground or a tree. “… large operations are … more efficient at converting inputs into outputs. However eating locally is interpreted, one thing is clear—local food, home gardens, and community-supported agriculture have recently exploded in interest and popularity. Controlling the quantity of food. Halweil calls it “food swap,” where countries import certain foods even as it exports comparable quantities of the same food, “shuttling hundreds of millions of tons of identical food in opposite directions.”, “In the case of milk,” Halweil writes, “British supermarkets and food manufacturers prefer to buy a standardized, predictable commodity in large quantities from a few sources on the world market, forcing British dairy farmers to sell their milk in international markets. Here are more reasons why food trumps all aspects of traveling. In the United States, food typically travels between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers (about 1,500 to 2,500 miles) from farm to plate, up to 25 percent farther than in 1980.”. PLNU’s dining services provider, Sodexo, embraces both local and non-local purchasing practices. © 2020 - Point Loma Nazarene University | All Rights Reserved, PLNU Professor Named Tactical Strength and Conditioning Practitioner of the Year, Q&A With Retired Firefighter Steve Shoemaker, Standing Together: Embracing Diversity and Opposing Injustice, Community Impact: Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Renate Chancellor and Social Justice in the Library Sciences, buying locally reinvests dollars into their local economy, IRC’s New Roots Community Garden in the heart of City Heights, The practice and politics of food system localization, What is Voting Good For? One major argument  for eating local is that it is a boost to local economies, and there is plenty of research to back this up. City Heights, a San Diego neighborhood known for its diversity and large refugee population, is a low-income area that previously fit the bill of a food desert. 02 of 09. While discovering completely new foods in a foreign country is amazing, so is trying a food you’ve eaten many times before and finding a completely new flavor in it. In her Journal of Rural Studies article, “The practice and politics of food system localization,” C. Clare Hinrichs wrestles with if localism really is “an apparent counterpoint to globalization,” and realizes it’s actually not so cut and dry. “In the past 40 years, the value of international trade in food has tripled, and the tonnage of food shipped between nations has grown fourfold while population has only doubled. Much of the food grown in the garden goes home with farmers to feed their families, but the garden also serves as a training ground for urban farmers to learn about aquaponics, and even more importantly, marketing. Rebecca Bragg has been a writer since 1979. One major argument for eating local is that it is a boost to local economies, and there is plenty of research to back this up. used as a substitute for professional medical advice, You may make a new friend and try something new that you may never have thought to try. In 2008, when Congress passed H.R.2419, an amendment to the “Consolidated and Rural Development Act,” they grouped “locally” and “regionally” together: “(I) the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product; or (II) the State in which the product is produced.”. Emmenegger is constantly looking for ways to purchase other food items locally when the financial trade-off is feasible. In a Washington Post article entitled “The Economics of Local Food,” writer Jane Black gives the example of a World Watch study of farmers in Minnesota. One of the best parts of traveling and trying new things is to bring home that knowledge you didn’t have before to use it, so take advantage of it. “Our hand is being forced,” said Wing-Peterson. When a local farmer picks a carrot hours before heading to a local market, that carrot has had less time to shed its nutrients than a carrot that took a few days to make its way to you by boat, train, or 18-wheeler. Can it be anywhere in your home state? In the World Watch study, it is noted that the potential benefits of “shifting food dollars to the local food system are just that: potential.” To date, no community has actually implemented such sharp changes to see if these predictions are correct. 2020 Take Costa Rica for example. “People everywhere depend increasingly on food from distant sources,” said Eat Here’s Halweil. Local Foods Are Fresher . Many of the urban farmers were also farmers in their home countries, but selling in an urban landscape is a completely new game for them. ... Benefits of eating imported food. ), Another way our food travels around the world is trade in the most literal sense of the word. A “food desert” is a term used to describe “innercity urban areas with no green-grocers or fresh-food options,” according to Halweil. It is also supported by an aquaponics system, which combines traditional aquaculture (raising fish) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a closed system. In response, long-distance travel requires more packaging, refrigeration, and fuel—all of which produce larger amounts of pollution and waste. They believe the less a piece of food travels, the less extra costs are involved. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. “I often tell my students a honeydew or a strawberry has more airline miles than I do,” said Wing-Peterson. Is it a demarcated radius around your house? The answer may depend on who you ask. Those who use the IRC’s garden as a launching pad sell to local restaurants and farmer’s markets. Different areas of the world have so many new flavors and dishes that you would never even think of. 1. “I often tell my students a honeydew or a strawberry has more airline miles than I do.”, One of the cases the local food movement makes is that food that travels far is not as nutritious. Food from afar has made food cheaper in some respects and more expensive in others.