Where are you from?

When in the grocery store and choosing the food we wish to prepare and eat rarely do we consider what this food had to go through to arrive on the shelves at the grocery store, our cupboards or in our tummies. How often do you look at a can of soup and think, “how many carbon emissions were released in order for this soup to arrive in my hands?” When buying food we must consider where this food comes from.

Walking around Guelph I have often noticed bright yellow rectangular stickers, or signs which say “FARMERS FEED CITIES.” Farmers Feed Cities is a campaign which is committed to “increasing the understanding of the value that farmers contribute to Ontario’s economic physical and social health” and is “committed to ensuring a sustainable future for farmers in Ontario.” This raises awareness for how important farmers are to all of us. Farmers in Ontario feed our cities. We need to support these farmers by buying locally grown food and keeping money within the Canadian economy. For more information about Farmers Feed Cities http://www.farmersfeedcities.com

Although supporting the local economy is very important, to me the greatest good that comes from buying local is the reduced harm it brings to the environment. The shipment of food from across oceans or borders heavily impacts our environment. Transportation vehicles release large amounts of pollutants into the air we breathe simply to get certain foods into our stores.  Buying local foods decreases our carbon footprint by completely removing the environmental costs of long transportation trips. Reducing the amount of distance food needs to travel, reduced the amount of pollutants released into our environment keeping our environment as healthy as we can.

Living in Canada we are lucky enough to be able to purchase local foods. In Ontario we have access to numerous different food items because of the large amount of farms which we have. We are able to get local eggs, beef, chicken and veggies. We need to take full advantage of the fact that we have access to all of this great local food. So next time you are grocery shopping or picking which foods to eat think more carefully about where it is that food comes from. Most cities have a farmer’s market on weekends with a variety of different foods. There is even one here in Guelph open all year-round (www.guelphfarmersmarket.com). Buying local is simple, easy and can have a huge positive impact on our environment in the long run.

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