Sunday, May 31, 2009

Urban Farming and food safety

Lately I've been looking at Urban Farming and Locavore websites and am thinking about food safety issues. A Locavore loves locally grown food so much they actively gardening and distributing food locally. An Urban Farm is, well, farming activity in an urban setting. It wasn't so long ago that cities had farming activity within city borders, unlike today where farms are far away. Local food is about "more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place". But why is this important?

Local food isn't transported long distance, thereby requires less resource use causing less environmental harm. Further as the peak oil situation plays out transporting stuff long distance (not just food) is going to be more expensive and perhaps impossible.

Local food may be healthier. To ship food long distance means picking it before it's ripe, and to perform genetic engineering to keep the food from rotting during shipment. Neither does much for food quality.

Growing your own food lets you choose for yourself which chemicals are used, and gives you and your children hands on experience with your food.