On Valentine’s Day this year, I found a restaurant in Boulder that was 100 percent local. Our waiter told us the story of the quaint place. They have a farm of about 200 acres where they grow all their fruits and vegetables, and when we asked about the meat, he told us they get it from the neighboring farm. Not only was the food amazing, it felt like we had just eaten at someone’s home.
On an everyday basis we are very aware of the food we eat and what we feed our kids. Prior to the energy challenge, I never really thought much about the environmental benefits to buying local/organic foods. When my wife first changed the places we buy our foods, from the first thing I noticed was the increase in our grocery bill every month. It is not significant, but enough to notice.
After I talked about it with her she said, let’s sit down and watch these documentaries about food. So I did. It was clear that we need to make sure our kids are not eating lots of processed foods.
Recently, I sat next to guy on the plane who worked for a large retail grocery chain. We started talking about sustainable farming and how they source their stores, which led to him telling me a banana is the fruit with the highest carbon foot print. This was something I had never really thought much about. But it’s a very easy concept for the kids to understand.
We always talk about cars that are “too big for the earth”. They are very quick to point out large trucks as too big for the earth. While they were eating a banana with peanut butter we described how that piece of fruit has to travel a long way in these large vehicles to get here. It was interesting to see them make the connection. Now when they eat a banana, they are aware it has to make a long journey to get here.
Now that we are doing the energy diet, we are much more in tune with the other benefits of buying local. We started to buy fruits that are in season and meat that is locally raised when possible. A service we really like is door-to-door organics, which is similar to a milk delivery except they bring fruit which is all grown in Colorado. It is like having the farmers market come to our house.