It’s almost CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season! I just re-subscribed to the CSA I joined last year and am looking forward to the local, organic food that will be delivered weekly for distribution to my nearby synogogue. It’s important to eat local and organic food for a variety of reasons including reduced carbon emissions from transport, reduced packaging waste, reduced/eliminated herbicide and pesticide application to the land and exposure to your body, and supporting your local economy. There was a great article in the New York Times last week called Did Your Shopping List Kill a Songbird? about the effect of imported fruits and vegetables on songbird populations. Here’s an excerpt:
Migratory birds, modern-day canaries in the coal mine, reveal an environmental problem hidden to consumers. Testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration shows that fruits and vegetables imported from Latin America are three times as likely to violate Environmental Protection Agency standards for pesticide residues as the same foods grown in the United States. Some but not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing or peeling produce, but tests by the Centers for Disease Control show that most Americans carry traces of pesticides in their blood. American consumers can discourage this poisoning by avoiding foods that are bad for the environment, bad for farmers in Latin America and, in the worst cases, bad for their own families.
If you want to find a CSA, farmer’s market, or other source of local, organic food, check out Local Harvest, a website that lets you search by city or zip code along with a lot more information about the local/slow food movement. Enjoy your fruits and veggies!