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Local doesn't mean we all have to eat Oregon wheat. When food products are shipped thousands of miles, you can reduce that even by selling Oregon grains throughout the willamette valley but also Puget Sound and even British Columbia. Local doesn't mean 10 miles, the entire Pacific Northwest could feed itself as a region. Idaho potatoes, Oregon wheat, Washington apples as well as barley, wine grapes, fruits, nuts and dairy products throughout the region can be redistributed among the millions of people living in Seattle, Portland, Boise and Spokane metropolitan regions. If companies like Franz, Widmer, Starbucks and Burgerville are actually committed to using the abundant regional crops intensively and year round, the amount of energy wasted in transportation and storage could be greatly reduced. One of the biggest reasons so much wheat in the region is sold internationally is because decades of government direction has been intended to create the world dependent on american wheat. Simultaneously, rice imports from Asia to the US have continued to increase while American wheat goes unused as a major cereal grain. When people discuss the "local" food issues, politics and economics are too often ignored as if it is entirely up to the consumers to "choose" local. Food exports are subsidized in our country both directly and indirectly through artificially cheap fuel prices. The decision to buy local is heavily dependent on government action and the understanding that Portlanders buying Idaho potatoes are buying local; they're eating a product that is being shipped less than a third of the distance of the average food item. Remember people, "Think Regionally, Act Cooperatively." Remember that if you think Pendleton wheat is local, so are Yakima apples and Boise spuds. That little line on the map doesn't really change that much about the food crossing it.
posted 5 years, 1 month ago
posted 5 years, 1 month ago
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