Thinking about distance

Today we talked about locavorism in class, and it reminded me of a project that the sustainability committee is trying to get Aramark on board with.  Last year, we had the idea to label the food with different colors based on how far it had been transported to get here (we’ve been working with them ever since to get this idea in action). Green would indicate “close” (within 100 mi), yellow would indicate “medium distance” (100-~300 mi) and red would indicate “long distance” (>300 mi). Personally, I’m very interested in seeing how the labeling would affect people’s food choices (I would love to write my paper on this but it won’t be in effect in time). I know that it would certainly have a big impact on my own food choices, and it would also give us a great initial measurement that we can use to convince Aramark to reduce the distances that our food travels.

Personally, I am a huge advocate for locavorism. I see it as a realisitic system that could truly improve the relationship we have with our food. I feel as though a lot of people don’t have a good relationship with their food. That may sound weird, but I think since we have to eat a few times a day to stay alive, we should value the action instead of just doing it to get it done. I value knowing where my food came from, tasting it in its most natural form, and knowing that there wasn’t harm caused to animals, people or the environment through its production. I’ve talked about this in my blogs before, and how difficult I find it to actually follow these values while eating cafeteria food. For example, I love eating the tomato and basil sandwiches at Ele’s. They’re vegetarian and delicious (pretty rare for this campus). But who knows how far that ciabatta bread, or mozzarella cheese, or especially the tomatoes and basil traveled to get to my plate? I try not to think about it because I feel pretty powerless about where my food comes from while I’m in college.

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