A few years ago I got to thinking ‘Just where does all the food I eat come from’. The easy answer was a farm. But then I started to read more about the food industry in the US and in the developed world in general. That’s when I realized that not only is my food grown globally, but it might not be done in the most sustainable way, and actually be in some cases detrimental to the development of some communities.
In fact most meat and produce in the US is either raised on corporate farms or shipped in from farms in developing countries. These farms are not always regulated in terms of environmental sustainability but also in terms of their social impact. Rarely is there fair wage enforcement, even in the US or much thought given to the impact on fragile ecosystems. The more I read the more upset I became with myself and my blind support of this industry. So I decided that I would become vegetarian as meat production has the highest negative environmental impact of the foods I ate (mostly through deforestation and methane production), and for the produce I do buy, try to at least buy from local farms in my area whenever possible.
I decided to go cold turkey and just start being full on veggie, not an easy task for a girl who grew up eating chicken every night for dinner and bacon for Sunday brunch. But after some experimentation and a lot of talking to farmers at the farmers market, I learned which ‘new’ vegetables and fruits would become part of my diet. Four and a half years later I am still vegetarian and still discovering new flavors and yummy recipes to try.