Food is precious to us. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.
Unless we want to become hunters and gathers again, we rely on others to provide our fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy. And we have to trust them to be fastidious about the process of growing and harvesting.
Actually, do most of us care how it’s grown and harvested? Unless there’s a scary headline about sickness and deaths and recalls, most of us probably don’t think further than how much it costs us at the cash register.
If we stopped to think about it, common sense would tell us that the closer to home that food is grown, the better it’s got to be for us.
While it’s nice to have access to fresh food year round, it’s hard to say what’s been used on those green grapes from Mexico or those tomatoes from some nameless field (or greenhouse) in the United States.
It’s tough to grow bananas locally. Or avacados, oranges, dates… In those cases, we hope that the countries where they grow have good organic standards that we can trust.
That’s why we have standards. But we have to pay for them. It’s a good bet that cheap prices mean low – or no – standards. And if you think that food that’s been placed on the store shelf can’t hurt you, then you don’t pay attention to the news.
Buy Canadian. Buy local. It’s not foolproof, but we have good standards when it comes to food.
This country is blessed with an abundance of fertile soil, unlike many countries where the climate frowns on food production. Our farmers and ranchers deserve our undying respect for what they do. Imagine if all of our food was produced in a test tube?
Imported fruit and vegetables are always cheaper – until they put the Canadian producers out of business. Then watch the prices go up. Support Canadian farmers. Support our local farmers. Support yourself. Dig a hole in your backyard or your front yard and plant a tomato or a potato, or a half dozen turnips, maybe a bean plant.
You’ll be growing your own gold mine.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal