Letter to the Editor

Make a choice for local food supply

Sunday, November 4, 2007

To the editor:It's a sobering reality that we have become utterly dependent on fossil fuels for the production, processing and transportation of our food. In feeding our families, we're at the mercy of the costs and availability of oil and natural gas.

As well-informed people, we understand that burning oil and natural gas not only depletes their finite supply, but also contributes directly to climate change through greenhouse-gas emissions.

Thus, there was standing room only at the Southeast Missouri Climate Protection Initiative's last meeting, which focused on our need to join the global movement toward re-localizing food systems. Representatives from Family Friendly Farm, Hinkebein Hills Farm, the Light of Ephraim, Show Me Fresh Farm, Mo Honey and Janzow Farms spoke passionately about their commitments to a safe, healthy, high-quality, local food supply. This region is fortunate to have these highly-principled, courageous and accessible farmers.

Several of them are located near Trail of Tears State Park. So in our local food system, their food travels only 13 miles to my table in Cape Girardeau. In the conventional system, food travels 1,500 or more miles on average from farm to table.

By supporting local farmers, we keep our money in Southeast Missouri, build up our community, strengthen connections with our neighbors, promote better health, increase food security through lessening our dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Make a commitment that your food choices will reflect your principles by supporting local agriculture. You'll feel better when tucking your kids in at night.

JOY BELL, Cape Girardeau