“You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…”
Lyrics of a song, and yet as true now as it ever was. Human nature?
This week Ashcroft Council received the final report of a study done on locally produced food.
One of the things the consultants noted was that it was mainly people over 50 years of age (and that would include myself) who were concerned about their food supply. To the younger generations who were raised on processed, packaged and restaurant food, it was very much less an issue.
The study was conducted by local residents Dave Durksen and Marg Durnin with a grant from BC Healthy Communities, and covered the communities of Ashcroft and Merritt.
It’s a good starting point to find out what’s being offered locally and what is wanted or lacking, because food availability is increasingly complex with governments and large companies involved in the mixing bowl.
If the study has found that it’s people over 50 years of age who are most concerned, perhaps it’s because we have been around long enough to see how it’s changed over the decades, from loading up the trunk at the farmer’s coop or right at their farm gate, to the small mom and pop grocery store to today’s international grocery chains.
Someone commented to me over the weekend how cheap vegetables and fruit were in California and how disgustingly expensive they were back in Canada by comparison. The reason for that is more complex than my response might be, but if Californian farmers can sell their crops in BC grocery stores, then it’s little wonder they can afford to sell things cheaper back home while Canadian farmers struggle to compete for Canadian customers.
I don’t know if I want to shake my head or beat it against a wall.
Make it simple. Grow your own, then buy local. Then buy as local as you can. Ask your grocer why there isn’t more local produce in their store, and make your opinion known. Before it’s too late.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal