My dreams at night come to me like waves in the ocean, one after the other. They start out big and end up small. They leave me with a feeling of nostalgia and I end up feeling like I’ve been to that place before. In my dream last night I dreamed of writing a blog here. It was about my dreams for the environment, if you can imagine that. My subconscious was trying to tell me something: dream big, and end with something small and tangible; something anyone can act on. As is the popular green saying goes: think globally, act locally.
If we are to consider the health of the entire planet we must start at the community level. This may be confusing, because of the news about climate change happening globally. However, if each community becomes more self-sustaining and less dependent on fossil fuels the whole world will benefit as a result–especially the world’s climate.
I happen to be from the wonderful and beautiful Golden State, California. In every city I’ve lived in within this state, be it Berkeley or Davis, farmers markets prosper. There’s a reason behind this. It isn’t just because California is home to the World’s most eco-conscious hippies, but in fact it’s partly due to California finding itself crippled by the oil crisis of the 1970s. This event led to the corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE) requiring automakers to improve fuel economy. Because of this, the automakers produced much more fuel efficient cars. Since California has had some of the worst air-quality and highest oil prices in the nation, many Californians are conscious of the environmental impact major industrial agriculture organizations place on the land. (California Leads the Green Movement)
California isn’t the only state that’s fond of the think global act local movement. The popularity of Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” has inspired people across the nation, and across the globe, to eat food that hasn’t been processed and is grown in a local farm. In an article Michael Pollan wrote in Mother Jones, titled, “No Bar Code,” Beyond Organic is gaining new ground within the U.S. While writing the Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan decided to visit Joel Salatin’s farm after Joel refused to fed-ex him some of his fine broiler meat. According to Joel, it’s not ‘beyond organic’ if you use fuel to deliver it. There’s a face to face relationship that has been missing from food producer to consumer that Joel wants us to become a part of once again. This is called, “relationship marketing,” the approach he urges in his recent book, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food. Integrity is important to Joel, and the only meaningful guarantee of integrity is when buyers and sellers can look one another in the eye. Joel finds it odd that people put more work into finding a decent contractor than finding someone decent to produce and harvest their food. (No Bar Code – Michael Pollan)
Californians can do their part to put the global movement into a local perspective. By buying local and thinking global, we can help put an end to dirty fuel and get back the face to face relationships we have lost since the industrial revolution began. Our climate will thank us, and so will our health. Cheap food, according to Michael Pollan, is a myth. We pay for it in our medical bills and with the environment. High cholesterol, sodium, and high sugar content in processed foods leads to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. So start with your community, your neighbors, and by all means your health first. The world will follow–I guarantee it. (The High Price of Cheap Food)