Monday, August 11, 2008

Eat Local Food

This weekend our family toured the annual Dakota County Fair which I always enjoy as a way to connect the kids with the land/agriculture a little given our suburban lives. Despite being the third largest metro area county in Minnesota nearly 70% of our county's land is still zoned for agricultural use.

As we walked through the animal barns, 4-H exhibits, the midway food stands, etc. one information booth I decided to visit was the "Lakeville Coalition for the Environment". This group was promoting everything "green" for a better world including their "Eat Local" campaign. Personally both of my parents' families come from generations of family farmers so I have an interest in the small, family farm life but I always pause when I see the "Eat Local" food campaigns. Why? Well, we don't grow many (zero to be exact) bananas in Minnesota and I also like strawberries but those are hard to find in February in Minnesota when arctic like winds hit our homes. Yes there are greenhouse opportunities to produce such products locally but if a fully loaded cost study was completed it may very well show that importing strawberries from California to Minnesota is still better for the environment versus the power supply needed for operating green houses throughout the 4 months of winter here in Minnesota.

Now of course global warming could change all of these economics to the point that we may someday grow bananas in Minnesota so would that be a good or bad thing for the environment?

Bon appetit,


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