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Our Precarious Food Supply
The 3000 Mile Caesar Salad

James Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, coined the phrase "the 3000 mile Caesar Salad" to bring our attention to the fact that very little of the food we rely on for survival is grown locally anymore. While most of us understand that processed foods, meats, and seafood come from a long distance away, in most cases, we are typically unaware that the fruits and vegetables, which were once grown locally, now also travel thousand of miles before landing in the produce department of our grocer.

Long distance supply lines pose a threat to reliability. Various events could lead to an overnight cut-off of the supply. Peak Oil raising transportation costs to the point where the 3000 mile Caesar Salads become uneconomical is just one example of a threat to our food supply.

For these reasons, a rapidly growing number of communities are taking an interest in fostering a local supply of basic foods. In this section we'll begin to explore movements aimed at the localization of food production.

$10 off $65 expires 11/19/04

Most grocery stores stock only a three day supply of food.

For additional information on how Peak Oil will affect your food supply, read:

Threats of Peak Oil to the Global Food Supply by Richard Heinberg

Interview with Richard Heinberg (audio file)

The Oil We Eat by Richard Manning

Eating Fossil Fuels by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Civilization Locked up the Food Supply

One of the most insightful points made by author Daniel Quinn is that civilization has, in effect, "locked up the food". It has achieved this by shifting food production to distant specialists through division of labor. Whereas, up until one hundred years ago or so, most people either grew a portion of their food supply or, at least, knew how to do so if circumstances required them to, today almost no one would know how to feed themselves if the normal supply lines were cut.

In the modern world, if you want to eat you have to play in the great rat race of modern life. Jason Godesky sums it up
nicely with the statement:

Of course, the reason we work is clear. The food is all locked up. Civilization passes out tokens that can be redeemed for prizes at the counter, if you play the game. But now none of us know how to survive outside this surreal, horrific Chuck E. Cheese's, leaving us slaves to those games.

Jules Dervaes of Path to Freedom echoes the same message when he says:

In our society growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can--and will--overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world--we change ourselves.

Unlocking the Food Supply

These are some methods by which people are beginning to "unlock" the food supply and regain control over it.

A Revolution Against Industrial Agriculture
This is a very good article in Mother Jones. Be sure to read the additional articles linked to in the sidebar.

Slow Food Movement

Community Supported Agriculture


MML Brand

Additional Food Supply Links

Weston A. Price Foundation

The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.

Community Food Security Coalition

The Community Food Security Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times. We seek to develop self-reliance among all communities in obtaining their food.

More information on becoming self-sufficient in food.

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