Have you ever thought about where your food comes from and exactly how it gets to you? Sure, you got most of what you eat from your local grocery store. Or you might get some portion of what you need to survive from a restaurant or fast food joint. I have often been curious about where the food I’m eating comes from and what it had to go through in order to get to my plate.
Recently, I thought I’d look into some of what I was purchasing for consumption. As you may know, after 26 years I’ve started eating meat again. And with any yummy steak comes a light and fluffy baked potato (hopefully!) Just last week I picked up a bag of organic potatoes from the veggie department at my local Walmart. The journey my potatoes might have traveled from Farm Fresh Direct, LLC in Colorado:
The challenge with this “direct” route, is I’m pretty sure there is no way in hell that my potatoes only traveled 544 miles from Colorado to my local Walmart (I’m pretty sure that’s where I picked up the bag of organic potatoes.)
I plan on doing some analysis and have an email into their company to hopefully get a better understanding of just how much impact these good for me, good for the soil veggies really are. Hopefully, they were taken to a Walmart distribution center on the way from there to here.
The reason I got really interested in the journey my food takes came as a direct result of this post which discusses the Deconstruction of a Taco. This is truly an amazing story that details the diverse origins and routes of foods required to make a taco at a mobile food truck in San Francisco. Clearly a lot of work and energy went into ferreting out every last ingredient, including the spices used.
My biggest take away is that while it is not cheaper to eat locally, there are just some ingredients you cannot expect to get from the farms just outside of town. And I wonder if that’s simply an okay thing. Is it okay that we expect to get ingredients transported to us when they would otherwise never be grown nearby?
I have to answer this a big yes with a caveat. If you’re in business solely to make a profit then clearly making your tacos with the absolute lowest priced ingredients makes sense to your bottom line. If you’re competing to attract clients that take their environment seriously you obviously will have to charge more for your products.
Plus, unless I move to Costa Rica, I’m never going to be close to coffee producers. And I HAVE TO HAVE MY COFFEE! Please send my apologies to the planet!