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101, Section 1003

December 2017

Farm to Table: Is It Worth It?

            There have always been many views as
to how people get their food. From how the agriculture industry runs operations
of safety guidelines to choosing how you want to buy and eat your food. The
Farm to Table (or Farm to Fork) movement is not very well known and has only
been around since the beginning of the twentieth century. It is the idea of
supporting a community in which you buy more locally grown products within a desired
mile radius instead of commercially grown food. Or just the idea of how your
food gets from the farm to the store/household. This is not only limited to
people eating locally produced food, but also branching out to the ideas of
supporting or not supporting Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs), or whether or
not organic is healthier and better for the environment. The Farm to Table
movement is slowly starting to become more and more of a trend supporting the
local agriculture community.

            Most people do not think much of
where their food comes from or how. However, the idea a buying food locally
rather than commercially, is becoming more and more popular especially more so
within the United States. Supporting the local community through buying food
from local farmers markets, a community supported agriculture (CSA), or
straight from the farm itself is all within the definition of buying locally. According
to the article, Local Food Movement:
Should People Attempt to Eat Locally Produced Food? From the Infobase
website, some people are so into the locally grown scene that they call
themselves “localvores”, insisting “to eat local food entirely, or almost
entirely, for a given period of time.” (Local
Food Movement: Should People Attempt to Eat Locally Produced Food? 1)  But with this, it also comes with a debate on
whether or not buying locally is actually worth it. Those “localvores” who are
all for the idea of buying locally grown food argue the sides of supporting the
local food shed, better treatment of animals and crops, and cutting out the
middle man. The local food shed is a specific area, in which food produced in a
certain mile radius outside of that central area is considered to be within
that food shed. An example being living in a certain part of town and only
buying locally grown food within a 100-mile radius or so. By supporting the
local food shed, farmers in rural areas are being guaranteed their livelihood,
producing food for the dependent cause. Supporting the local food shed also
means helping out the environment, from the same article mentioned above they state
that “Supporters of the local food movement argue
that shipping food around the world harms the environment. Transporting food on
long distances uses large amounts of oil, they charge, which creates pollution
that contributes to health problems and global warming.” (Local Food Movement: Should People Attempt to Eat Locally Produced
Food?) By cutting out the extra miles of delivering food, its ensuring for
less emissions and other harmful substances adding to the environment. As well
as fresher food faster, by cutting out travel time, and time that food is in
all the travel air substances. By choosing to buy local, consumers are also
happier by the produce they purchase. People become more careful about what is in
their food and how it is grown. With this idea, it helps farmers not have to
focus so much on mass production, using harsh chemicals. But instead having
them focus on the best way to grow their food. Meaning that treatment of
animals will be promoted and the way crops are grown will be better. Not only
do farmers benefit from the business of the local community but the middlemen are
cut out. They no longer have to pay extra fees to get their food shipped out,
they can just deliver straight to a CSA or a farmer’s market.

            People opposed to the idea of eating
locally produced food say that it is impractical, not a good variety, and harms
countries overseas. Without the convenience of just going to a nearby grocery
store, restricting the food you buy to being just local can be hard. Depending
on certain areas people live in, farming is only so close by, limiting what is
local and what isn’t. When deciding things such as a locally grown diet only,
people don’t realize the supply of what can be produced throughout the year.
Produce booming in certain parts of the year, and others not so much. Meaning
that there could be a variety of produce in the summer/fall season. But when
the winter/spring hit, the choices are narrowed down to hardy produce. Opposed
views say that by purchasing foods locally, it is ultimately harming other
countries, “…the livelihood of many farmers in Africa depends on growing
produce to be shipped abroad. That undercuts wealthy countries’ claims of
wanting to reduce poverty in Africa, they add.” (Local Food Movement: Should People Attempt to Eat Locally Produced
Food?) Other underdeveloped countries depend on the shipment of goods as
their livelihood. When cutting out the transportation of produce and
specifically selling locally, it’s cutting out the global workers who produce
and ship the food. 

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