Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quote of the day and a holiday message

"Local and sustainable food does not cost more, the price tag on local and sustainable food is the real price for food, and there are no hidden costs."

From a food market in Boston.

How true, if oversimplified, this is. In the field of economics, these hidden costs are known as "externalities." They are generally costs that are borne by the public rather than the consumer because they are not worked into the cost of a transaction. The world is suddenly becoming aware that it is a closed system, and that we can't afford environmental externalities. For example, the production and transportation of food using fossil fuels is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases that are causing global warming. This affects us all. By eating locally, we can cut back on carbon footprints.

Of course, there are many other benefits to eating locally, such as preserving local economies and keeping land in agriculture. We try here at Grown in Frederick to share with you the fun reasons to eat locally so that we can create a culture around local food and farms. My thought is that the farmers are there. The product is there. You are there. My job here is to connect you to the farmer in a way that would make sense to your life and make it better through good eating and farm experiences. But I also have ulterior motives because I am an environmentalist. I would like to see our food sustainable for future generations and for the environment for its own sake.

Why eat an apple from New Zealand when the apples now are so fresh? Visit a local farm market, like the Catoctin Mountain Orchard on Route 15 above Thurmont owned by my friend Robert Black, and taste how nuanced an apple can be. Or visit McCutcheon's Apple Products on Wisner street to see what wonderful products are made with local fruits from various farmers; I promise you that these places will bring you joy in the holiday season- and their products serve as excellent gifts. The McCutcheons make some of the best apple butter and preserves I have ever eaten. I believe they process products for many of the farms around here that the farms sell under their own labels. McCutcheon's has a holiday shoppe at the FSK mall. Why not stop in?

I want to thank you for reading Grown in Frederick. Yeon and I just started the blog this past summer but we have big plans for adding more writers and all kinds of good things in the new year. Talk to us about your experience with local food and gardening. Share your recipes with us. Tell us about your favorite farm outlet. We want to share this stuff with our readers, for so many good reasons.


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