A lot of the slow food movement is based in the green movement. Concerns about greenhouse gases caused by shipping foods long distances and packaging waste force a lot of people into "slow" thinking.
Frankly, I don't really care about that. I think that food that was picked closer to home is healthier. A flavorless tomato grown in a hot house sitting on a shelf for a week losing all its nutrition just doesn't do it for me. Especially when I can get in-season beauties at my farmer's market that are so good I won't even consider buying a tomato in the store out of season. (A bone of contention in this house on more than one occasion, I must say. "Why don't we ever have tomatoes?" "When those store bought things start tasting like tomatoes I'll buy them! It's not my fault they never do!")
My other big reason for shopping locally is that it supports local farmers. I grew up in a rural area of NC.
It's pretty, right?
This is the house I grew up in. My Dad lived here growing up. My Grandmother grew up here. Deep roots.
Almost everyone there farmed. My cousin ran a dairy. Until he could no longer make money at it, had to shut down his farm and get a job in town. Most of the food producing farmers had already preceded him. If anyone farms the area I grew up in now, it's Christmas trees.
I love Christmas trees. I'm a Christmas tree snob now because of the quality of tree produced there, but the point is that you can't eat a Christmas tree. I think it's simultaneously sad and terrifying that so few people grow the food we eat in this country. Gone are the backyard gardens.
Show of hands, now. How many of you knew that potatoes make leaves? And flowers! We're all friends here, no embarrassment. Green grass fields which once fed cattle are slowly being overgrown with weeds or bulldozed to erect McMansions. Frankly, it makes me a little sick to think what would happen in this country if we ended up in a Great Depression scenario. At least people in the 1930's knew how to grow their own food. I'm including myself, here. I have veeeeery limited experience when it comes to farming. So limited in fact, I've never... actually... farmed... If something drastic happened, we'd be in the soup line with the rest of you poor sots. And so, I support local farmers. They are heroes in my eyes. Keepers of history. This is one of the times when I put my money where my mouth is. I think more people should farm and I think those of us who don't should support the few who do.
Don't even get me started on Monsanto.
So after all that ranting and holier-than-thouing would you like to know what I did for Terra Madre Day?
Yep. Went and bought a Christmas Tree.
Support your local farmer!