More From the Local Press:
Winnipeg Free Press reporter Lindsay Weibe continues her month long account of "eating locally" ie purchasing only Manitoba produced food in the Sunday, Nov. 26th edition of the Free Press. Her latest item is entitled 'A Crisis of Conscience' and it meanders around the similarities and differences between "organic foods" and the "buy local" movement. They are not the same thing. While many local food producers are indeed "organic" much of the food displayed in organic food markets is transshipped from across the world. Wiebe mentions how the David Suzuki Foundation did a study on this contrast and came down firmly on the side of "local supply", "organic" or not. The contrast in energy consumption is so great that the often illusionary value of the word "organic" take a distinct second place.
Wiebe has detailed her "journey through locality" on her blog at the local WFP site at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com . She has been compiling a list of retailers and other sources that would allow people who were interested to search out local products. The Province of Manitoba has also recently launched a "Buy Manitoba" campaign, and the website that lists local producers is at http://www.gov.mb.ca/residents/mbfood.html . For those who take their organic ideology seriously there is the 'Organic Producers Association of Manitoba' at http://www.opam.mb.ca .
Weibe's journey has been mentioned before on this blog, and a visit to her blog at the WFP is very interesting. What I found the most "grabbing" was one of the commentators who pointed out the 'Slow Food Movement'. This an international organization, founded in Italy in 1989, as their website (http://www.slowfood.com ) describes as,
"...a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world."
They go on to say,
"We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that makes this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy-a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.
Slow food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good;that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.
We consider ourselves co-producers , not consumers, because by being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process."
The Slow Food site, once more http://www.slowfood.com , will be added to our 'Other Interesting Links section. It's a movement that goes beyond the trendy and subcultural navel-gazing of "nnnnnnnatural". It's much closer to the heart of the matter.