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Welcome to Green Gal's blog, where you'll find stories, recipes, gardening updates, and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems. This blog is written by a young woman entrepreneur who is also a beginning farmer-gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Agriculture

In my AP Human Geography class the past couple of weeks, we've been learning about agriculture. It is fascinating and, interestingly, is one of those topics that directly affects everyone. We learned about cattle being raised in feedlots, genetically modified foods like corn and soybeans, and the many issues surrounding unsustainable agricultural practices in more developed countries, specifically the United States. We also learned about pastoral nomadism, rice, wheat, climate and other agricultural factors, the agricultural revolutions, the Green Revolution, and various agricultural practices from around the world.I'm really glad my teacher decided to expose us to the current issues surrounding agriculture, as when we watched Food, Inc. Many students hadn't ever had a desire or reason to learn about these issues and probably wouldn't have if it weren't for the class. I have the book so I began reading it the same day we began watching the movie. If you haven't seen Food, Inc., I highly recommend renting it or watching it On Demand. The weekend after we watched the movie in class, my family and I sat down to watch it together. It definitely raises your awareness level about where and how your food is being grown and prepared and what companies are actually behind the false advertisement of a purely small farmer, rural agriculture America that is still being perpetuated despite its largely unrealistic image.Since my family was in a documentary mood after watching Food, Inc., we decided to watch The Cove the following evening and were shocked and upset by learning about the atrocities taking place in Taiji, Japan where dolphins are captured for use in places like Seaworld or are slaughtered to be eaten by unsuspecting citizens of Japan. For more information about the movie, check out Conservation Nation's discussion about it here. It is another movie I recommend watching because it raises awareness about the terrible things governments can do without their citizens' knowledge or suspicion.

So this morning, in response to the lessons learned from Food, Inc. and various articles my teacher had us read about where our food comes from, my family headed to the farmer's market in our downtown. We bought vegetables and fruits for the week and enjoyed the morning sunshine, which has been lacking the past couple of days with all these storms we've been having. I hope to make it a weekly outing, so we can become less dependent on Safeway and support our local farmers. There's a CSA program through a farm located in our city, and we've been thinking about joining. At this point, though, we can at least begin by getting the majority of our veggies and fruits from local farmers on Saturday mornings.Have a lovely Saturday!
Green Gal

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Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
-- Henry David Thoreau

6 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this email. I am interested in learning how our foods are being produced. I have been buying organic veggies for quite some time. Have you heard any negative things about organic food that comes from other countries? I do think it is better to get your food as close to home as possible.

    On a Dr. Oz T V show last week he was telling people what they should eat to be healthy and age well. He mentioned fruits and vegetables, 100% whole grains, nuts, beans and good oils like olive oil. He said the things that age our bodies and are not good for us are sugars, syrups-like corn syrup and High fructose corn syrup (read all labels) , white flour and white flour products, white rice, butter and hydrogenated fats.

    I heard some people discussing Vit. B 12-the kind of tablet that dissolves under your tongue. It is especially important for vegetarians, vegan's and older folks.

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  2. Thanks! The only bad thing about organic veggies from other countries is the distance, since it requires more fuel to get here and subsequently emits more carbon dioxide. It also is always better to eat fresh food that has recently been picked, which would point to local foods as the freshest source since they're closer.

    I was reading a little insert about healthy foods in my mom's Oprah magazine. It was Dr. Oz's suggestions for healthiest food. I think that's where I read about fresh foods being the most nutritious and containing more benefits than if they've aged a little.

    This week, I've gone without any white flour, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and natural/artificial flavorings. I follow this blog that has weekly challenges. So far, I've stuck with it, I'll be talking about it in my next blog post on Monday or Tuesday.

    When I remember to, I take a vitamin B-12 tablet. For awhile I was taking my vitamins everyday but many days I forget. I need to be more diligent about making that a habit.

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  3. Thanks for posting this important information about our food and about the plight of the dolphins. Your photos of the Farmer's Market are delightful. It's great to have a source close to home that we can visit to purchase healthy food and to support local farmers.

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  4. Thanks for educating the good people on things that we should all know. You inspire me and I love you so much :)


    Paw Print

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  5. Thanks GreenGal for the great post and thanks for dropping by my blog. I have to get my hands on a copy of Food.inc. It sounds just the thing to educate my kids about the benefits of eating locally and developing a relationship with the farmer who grows your food.

    Gav

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  6. I really hope your family does decide to join a CSA. we've been supporting one for four years now and we're still eating some of what I froze over three months ago (since New England not blessed with a year round growing season like you are in Cali :) not only is the food way better than a supermarket but you feel good eating it too, and in our case it comes from two miles down the road! talk about eating local!

    So glad schools are bringing topics like this to student's awareness. they did nothing like this when I was in high school. -kate

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I love reading comments and am always up for a discussion! Thank you!

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