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Saturday, October 9, 2010

How far is too far?

One week from today I take my local foods show on the road. I love to talk about local food, local food systems and the need for sustainability in our food network.

Did you know that if trucks couldn't get into North Dakota, most grocery stores would only have enough food for three days?

I'll be on my soapbox on Saturday at the Women's Showcase in Fargo. As my colleague and I were discussing our talk, we knew we didn't want to pull any punches. But at the same time..."How far is too far?" Should we show them the video of chicken nugget production? Should we talk about high fructose corn syrup?

I hate the fact that the USDA and their cohorts have painted the local foods picture as "cute". "Come, everybody, let's buy a tomato at the farmers market this week!" Local food sustainability isn't cute, it's vital. But it's a wonder of modern science that we can buy tomatoes in the grocery store in January! Right? WRONG. On so many levels.

So I'm torn, what do I say? How much do I say? And, most importantly, will they listen before it's too late?


  1. YAY!! I'm going to be at the women's showcase, too! Selling mark. makeup/fashion, though... Are you doing a seminar?? I would love love love to see it if I can step away for a bit! I met you at the seed saving class and asked a whole ton about CSA's, etc. I've been following your blog and am glad you wrote about this!! I think there's an...interesting... line when you're educated on our food system and believe whole heartedly in being local and sustainable (b/c you have to be once you're educated on it!) and presenting it to your typical American that is happy to shop in Walmart. It either comes across as overwhelming and unattainable (thus removing any desire to believe/follow advice to change) or as a punch in the stomach inspiring a desire to change. My advice (which comes from pretty much no experience!) is to always leave people with very practical and small steps otherwise it's too grand of an idea they dismiss! People will listen next weekend, though, I totally believe - it's slowly becoming an awareness that I think is getting the average person more intrigued...anyways... - ashley morken in west fargo!

  2. Ashley!!
    So good to hear from you! We are presenting at noon, I don't know which stage. Our booth is on the floor, FARRMS, we'll be the one with all the local foods stuff...stop by!! Before or after the showcase times if you can't get away during...I'd love to chat!
    See you Saturday!

  3. Here is my chance to appear as another from the seed class, Rachel :) I too have been following the blog, when I get a chance. It gave me a lot of perspective when I was preparing the unit on "agriculture" for my Intro to Natural Resources class.
    Annie, will you be in Fargo long? I have to go to a short course on aquaculture at NDSU on Tuesday the 18th... Or maybe you have a list of the other places you will be going "on the road"? I'd love to catch you sometime.
    As far as your issue of how far to go, I'd say it really depends on your audience. On the most basic level people really have little clue about their food which is bizarre-- because they are eating it!!! Like you say, local food systems are so vital, and the players within a food system should have vitality! This is a great chance to empower your audience...and I'm sure you will.

  4. Rachel!! Great to hear from you as well!! I'll post my future "road tours" on the blog.

    I'll be in Fargo just Friday and Saturday, this time.

    FARRMS is offering a one-day educational event in Bismarck on December 4th with three different organic/sustainable tracks: crops, livestock and gardening. It will be a fun, information filled day with a silent auction, banquet and entertainment to wrap up the day. It's called Sustainable U...check it out at www.FARRMS.org


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