Why We Should Eat Locally
It isn’t any secret that the United States is in a state of relatively bad health, but most Americans aren’t entirely aware of the overall global and personal impact of the way we eat. By corporatizing the distribution of almost all of our food resources, we are increasingly contributing to global destruction with every food item we purchase. Barbara Kingsolver, American author and expert in biology, asserts, “Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.” The impact of our eating habits is astounding. The way we distribute food lends itself to the destruction of our planet and resources, the widening gap between the rich and poor, uncertainty about food quality, and most importantly the health of our citizens. By consuming more local foods, we can stimulate our communities, conserve energy and achieve better health for our country as a whole.
The safety of what we eat is the number one concern among those who worry about factory-produced food. In order to produce as much product as possible, factory animals are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. Likewise, our fruits and vegetables are genetically modified and sprayed with insecticides. These chemicals have detrimental effects on our health and are ruining our food for no reason other than corporate profit. The only way to avoid our exposure to these things is to either buy organic food or buy it locally. Organic foods are the most rapidly growing segment of our food industry, doubling in growth every few years (Ikerd). Unfortunately, Organic food from supermarkets is just another big business which contributes to eliminating earth resources and often misleads consumers with its claims. If more people began eating locally, we would decrease the...
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