Fw: [permaculture] Local Food Challenge Announcement
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse@...>
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 1:38 PM
Subject: [permaculture] Local Food Challenge Announcement
> I think this would be fun to do with fresh food from our gardens or food
> from the gardens that we have dried, canned, or preserved.
> Want to find out how much of the food you eat is fresh, local, and
> at juicy ripeness or how much is travel weary from its trek across the
> continent or around the earth? If so join the
> *Local Food Challenge*
> beginning Friday September 12, 2003 to Thursday September 18, 2003.
> ***The Challenge***
> The Challenge is to discover how much food is grown near by, how much from
> your region and how much from far away. This week in September can be one
> local abundance in most of the northern hemisphere with a full array of
> summer and early foods available. (In the southern hemisphere, there is
> usually a good selection of early spring food.) Particularly for the
> northern hemisphere, this provides a good look at whether you can eat a
> complete well balanced diet from local foods, or if not where the holes
> in your local food security. In addition to knowledge gained,
> get a chance to enjoy local foods at their peak of flavor.
> ***Why is Local Food Important?***
> The closer the food grows to the diner, the fresher, riper and tastier it
> likely to be. When food is grown nearby, less fossil fuel(gasoline) is
> to deliver it resulting in less pollution. In general local food helps
> local economy through an increased number of local jobs and preservation
> green space. Other advantages may include: easier to find out how
> organically it was grown, easier to find out if farm workers are treated
> well and paid a living wage, increases local food security, fresher taste,
> greater nutritional content, preserves local food specialties, access to
> tastier heirloom varieties, preserve genetic diversity.
> ***To Participate***
> Check to see where the foods that you eat this week are grown. Then
> the amounts of each. We suggest that you weigh the foods since weight has
> big effect on the amount of fuel used when foods are transported. But if
> you do not have scales, please feel free to measure in cups or by metric
> volume. As long as you stick with one measurement method, you will be
> to evaluate your information.
> We request that you not measure any added tap/well water which you add to
> your food, but if you use bottled water, please measure that. So for
> instance if you make soup, weigh the dry beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots,
> peppers, and spices, but not the water you use to cook them in.
> Then list the food and amount in one of the categories below. The
> categories represent both degrees of freshness and amount of energy used
> transporting the food. For this challenge we have tried to choose
> categories that represent significant differences in what is involved to
> the food to the diner. (If you have suggestions about the categories,
> send comments to gordonse@... with a heading of Local Food Categories
> post a message to the email list at LocalFoodCafe@yahoogroups.com .) Here
> is a list of the categories and some of the reasoning behind the category.
> Each category is likely to have a differing balance with regard to the
> reasons under the heading above "Why is Local Food Important?", but we are
> listing only a few of the aspects involved.
> Category--Reasoning for Category
> Homegrown Fresh (Food you(family) grew yourself. May include food grown
> earlier time which hasn't been processed beyond harvesting, washing, and
> storing. Examples of food grown at an earlier time and stored are
> carrots in sand, cabbages, apples, winter squash)--Fresh, maximum
> generally the least nonrenewable energy to have this food. Maximum
> possibilities for avoiding pollution of all sorts. Note: you may choose
> eat this food fresh or cooked and still consider it in this category.
> Homegrown Preserved (Dried, Canned, Frozen, Pickled, Fermented)--More
> used. May or may not result in need for recycling or waste removal.
> Grown within SquareMile--A 15 to 20 minute walk for most people. This is
> an amount of walking that many people are willing to do on a regular
> (See SquareMileLivingemail@example.com for more details on
> calculating your SquareMile.)
> Grown within 3 miles-- An hour walk for most people. An easy bike ride in
> terms of distance. Likely within public transportation if the area has
> public transportation. People are less willing to walk this on a regular
> basis, but it's quite doable for most if there in some sort of
> transportation disruption.
> Grown within 50 miles--This is drivable in an hour in most places. It's
> likely been picked within 24 hours of purchase. It is possible to get
> food by bicycle in most places if desired or necessary.
> Grown within 250 miles--This is half a day on a truck. It's likely to be
> least one to two days old by the time of arrival.
> Grown within 500 miles--A whole day on a truck. Lots of fossil fuel used,
> but still could be fairly fresh.
> Grown within 1500 miles--Food is probably at least 3 to 5 days old. Food
> has come from half a continent away.
> Grown within 3000 miles--Food is at least a week old and from across the
> Over 3000 miles--Food is probably 1 to 2 weeks old, or lots of fossil fuel
> was used to fly it somewhere. Food may have come from across a continent
> the sea.
> ***Sara's Food Example***
> Homegrown Fresh: (18.35 pounds)
> Tomatoes 3 pounds
> Summer Squash 1 pound
> Onions 1.5 pounds
> Cucumbers 2 pounds
> Peppers 1 pound
> Green beans 1 pound
> Turnip Greens 1.5 pounds
> Plums 2 pounds
> Grapes 2 pounds
> Potatoes 4 pounds
> Sunflower seeds .25 pounds
> Basil .10 pound
> Homegrown Preserved (2 pounds)
> Dry beans 2 pounds
> Grown within SquareMile (0 pounds)
> Grown within 3 miles (1.5 pounds)
> Fish .5 pound
> Eggs 1 pound
> Grown within 50 miles (0 pounds)
> Grown within 250 miles (0 pounds)
> Grown within 500 miles: (4 pounds)
> Brown Rice 1 pound
> White Flour 1.5 pounds
> Wheat Flour .5 pounds
> Peanut butter 1 pound
> Grown within 1500 miles (.5 pounds)
> Vinegar .5 pound
> Grown within 3000 miles (0 pounds)
> Over 3000 miles (.90 pound)
> Tea leaves .20 pound
> Assorted spices .20 pound
> Olive oil .5 pound
> ***To Calculate Your Percentages for the week***
> 1. Add up the total number of pounds of food you ate for the week. If you
> used a digital scale this is straightforward. If you weighed in ounces,
> remember that there are 16 ounces to a pound. If you used cups(and
> tablespoons for partial cups--convert to cups) or metric volume add that.
> 2) Then for each category, make a fraction of
> number of pounds(cups) in category/total pounds(cups)
> 3) Then divide and calculate percentage. Most computers have a calculator
> program under Start/Programs/Accessories/Calculator.
> ***An Example from Sara's week:***
> Total: 26.95 pounds
> Category/Fraction/Percentage(rounded (they total 101% due to rounding
> Homegrown Fresh: 18.35 pounds/26.95 pounds 68%
> Homegrown Preserved 2 pounds/26.95 pounds 7%
> Grown within SquareMile 0 pounds/26.95 pounds 0%
> Grown within 3 miles 1.5 pounds/26.95 pounds 6%
> Grown within 50 miles 0 pounds/26.95 pounds 0%
> Grown within 250 miles 0 pounds/26.95 pounds 0%
> Grown within 500 miles: 4 pounds/26.95 pounds 15%
> Grown within 1500 miles .5 pounds/26.95 pounds 2%
> Grown within 3000 miles 0 pounds/26.95 pounds 0%
> Over 3000 miles .90 pound/26.95 pounds 3%
> ***While participating or once you have your percentages***
> Post discussion and/or percentages to the list you saw this challenge on
> (Challenge may be posted to any appropriate lists--Food, Garden,
> Agriculture, Food Security, Simplicity, Frugality, Recipes, Homestead,
> Living, etc.) and to the LocalFoodCafe list which is sponsoring this
> challenge ( LocalFoodCafefirstname.lastname@example.org )
> ***Some aspects to consider while doing the challenge:***
> Please feel free to discuss any of these on the lists if you like.
> 1) How much of your food is grown within walking distance (3 miles or
> Sara's doing quite well for her example week with 81%.
> 2) Are there any important food categories where most of the food comes
> far away?
> In Sara's case her grains come from far away.
> 3) If you altered your shopping to get as much local as possible, how did
> this affect what you ate or the cost? Did you like the taste of any of
> items more(less) than usual?
> 4) What items that came from more than 3 miles away could be grown within
> the 3 miles? Within 50 miles?
> 5) Did you discover any local fresh or value added foods or markets that
> hadn't tried before?
> 6) How much of your food did you eat fresh (without cooking)? Note: for
> sake of the functioning of your intestines, it's not wise to change this
> from what you usually eat too much at one time.
> 7) If you have a nutrition program, did the weeks food meet your overall
> nutritional needs? If anyone could run the numbers on Sara's week and
> them to gordonse@..., that would be helpful. My guess is that her
> nutrient levels are probably good for most things, though I think her
> calcium levels might be low.
> ***An email list for local food***
> If you'd like to discuss local food topics as well as this challenge with
> group focused on this topic, join the LocalFoodCafe group.
> Info about the list:
> LocalFoodCafe is for people who want to increase the percentage of local
> food that they eat. It's also for people who want to help increase the
> amount and types of food which are available locally. Related goals are to
> improve taste of available food, health, sustainability, access to
> food, ecology, food security, local economics, and to preserve regional
> of eating.
> We are also interested in discovering the degree to which we and our area
> can eat locally at the current time as well as the potential for
> the levels in the future. Occasionally we will sponsor Eating Local Food
> Some ways we might encourage the increased access to Local Food are: Home
> Gardens, Community Gardens, Allotments, Farmer's Markets, CSAs, Restaurant
> Gardens, Wildfoods, Biointensive Gardening, Permaculture, Edible
> Landscaping, Small Local Farms, Square Mile Living, Four Season Harvest
> techniques, SlowFood, Local Value-added food processing, Root Cellars and
> Home Preserving, and Local/Regional Cookbooks.
> Bon (local) Appetit!
> permaculture mailing list
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