As I grow older, I realize that I take many things for granted. High on this list is the accessibility of foods. I’ve always been more or less able to get whatever food I want whenever I want, because the grocery store is just a hop, skip, and jump away with an abundance of food- all kinds of fruits and vegetables and other things, and I never really questioned how any of it got there and at what cost. Obviously they came from a farm, but which farm? Where was it grown and how long was the drive? Those are important questions for having a sustainable consumer culture. The current supply-and-demand system promotes a huge amount of wasteful gas expenditure, carrying food thousands of miles from its origin, bringing less fresh and less tasty food at a cost to the environment (not to mention the monetary cost of gas).
There’s also the less tangible cost of becoming spoiled. Because I’ve always had access to these foods, I don’t think I truly appreciate them. Oranges in particular used to be a very rare, special thing, because it only grew in certain areas. They were treasured, a sign of luxury. And they taste good. I can only imagine the joy of these people when they eat these oranges, because they’ve become so commonplace for me that I ignore them. In fact, I sometimes find them too troublesome to open and I just don’t eat them.
To personally adjust my behavior, I would like to start going to farmer’s markets and buying locally. As it stands, though, I don’t eat very many fresh foods anyway. I find myself too busy and overwhelmed generally to prepare foods, so I eat a lot of either frozen foods or simple sandwiches, or I eat at Brickman’s. But I should try to eat locally, for more ways than one: not only does it help the local farmer, it also helps me, and it helps the environment.