Real Sustainability means eating local crops

26.10.07

While in Mexico I was treated to perhaps the best food I've had. I should clarify this statement however, it wasn't that the recipes or even the meals themselves were that good. In fact, whatever I ordered never seemed to look that appealing on arrival. However, it was the quality of every ingredient that stood out. Each and every ingredient was fresh, organically grown with little fertilizer, and flavorful.
I realized while eating my way through central America, that if you are talking sustainability related to food, then really what is meant is the maintainable and prosperous exploitation of local food crops.

Fast forward to this morning when I was at a local diner for breakfast and had an omelette with peppers, mushrooms, and onions plus wholegrain toast with a few slices of orange topped off with a fresh squeezed orange juice. This meal was partially imported and due to our current lack of data about food supply chain information, will remain a speculation. However, I can guess based on basic economic competitive advantage of food crops and the factors of NAFTA and globalization, that the following products were imported from outside of the lower mainland:

  • butter

  • whole-grain bread

  • orange slices

  • oranges that were used for the fresh squeezed orange juice

  • eggs


Food products that were more than likely produced locally within the lower mainland include:

  • peppers
  • mushrooms
So to conclude my little forray into this discussion I tracked down a list of all the agricultural products produced in BC. I hope to find out which ones are produced within the lower mainland, and then figure out which ones are in season. Once I have this list, I'll start to look to how to modify my diet to fit a sustainable consumption pattern and look to expand on it by considering what First Nations peoples used for food crops prior to European settlement.

Without a doubt, I think I'll find that outside of fish, Vancouver will no doubt have something that isn't world class, and that would be the nutritional value of its currently produced seasonal food products.

Plants

Apples Hazelnuts
Apricots Herbs
Asparagus Holly
Beans Honey
Belgian Endive (Witloof) Kiwifruit
Blueberries Lettuce
Cabbage Mushrooms
Canola Nursery
Carrots Onions
Cherries Peaches
Chinese Vegetables Pears
Christmas Trees Peas
Corn Plums
Cranberries Potatoes
Floriculture Pumpkin
Forage Raspberries
Forage Seed (Legume and Grass) Seed Potatoes
Ginseng Strawberries
Grains Turfgrass Sod
Grapes and Wine Vegetables - Other
Greenhouse Vegetables

Livestock

Beef Horses
Chickens Llama and Other Exotic Animals
Dairy - Milk Ostrich and Emu
Eggs Ranching
Fallow Deer Reindeer
Game Birds Sheep, Lambs and Sheep's Milk
Goats Turkeys
Hogs

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