Tonight John and I were discussing a movement that promotes “eating locally.” In other words, buying produce that was grown near where you live. The advocates of this think that the amount of fuel that it takes to bring fruits and vegetables from around the world to our markets is a waste.

With that in mind, I thought back to my childhood and what I ate (or probably didn’t eat since I was a finicky eater.) Mushrooms came in cans. For a special occasion my mother might buy B & B whole buttered mushrooms. Green beans, also canned. Root vegetables, though, were a staple. My dad used to have a big garden in our backyard in New Jersey; you know, the Garden State. The vegetables from our garden supplemented the ones from the grocery store and the farm market. Wow, those Jersey tomatoes. My dad would come home at lunch and tend to those plants like they were his children. They are still the best tomatoes I have ever eaten.

So should one buy locally and go with the seasons? For the best taste, yes, I think so. For economic reasons? I don’t know. I like supporting my local farmers. Using all that fuel to ship asparagus here so I can eat it in January does seem wasteful. But John brought up that the free market (theoretically) should fix that problem. If it costs a lot to ship it to the U.S, the price of the produce will be out of range for American shoppers, the demand will go down, and then foreign producers will either have to cut their margins or stop shipping to the U.S. So this problem should regulate itself.

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