Thursday, December 02, 2010

Local Food - Growing Sane

Avocados from South America. Apples from New Zealand, instead of the next valley. Industrially-grown carrots with no taste, no vitamins, but a microscopic coating of carcinogenic pesticides.

Meanwhile we are paving over the nearby farms, leaving our cities utterly dependent on global corporations. On cruelty to workers and animals. On oil and daily long-distance trucks. If something breaks down, or just runs down into collapse, your city can go to a starvation in a single week.

And the great food system keeps heating the planet, threatening all agriculture.

Against all that, is a rising tide of support for local food producers. It is a food revolution, and I don't use that word lightly. You will hear two voices of sanity, and yes, of hope.

The local food movement started with a book "The 100-Mile Diet" by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. In Vancouver, Canada, this couple went a year, eating only locally produced food. It wasn't easy then. It is much easier now, in many North American cities, as the idea of sustainable cities catches on.

Five years beyond the success of their first book, Smith and MacKinnon give us a rapid-fire tour of great ideas, the 10 best local food projects in the United States and Canada. With a culture check against a tiny village in Northern Spain. Are the Europeans really better with their food?

You'll be surprised as local food networks spring up in Toronto, New York, Michigan, and Los Angeles.

This talk was recorded by Alex Smith, for Radio Ecoshock, at the Museum of Vancouver, Canada, on November 25th, 2010. The Museum was one of the sponsors, along with the Tyee magazine, and the Tides Canada Foundation, who funded a series of 10 talks on transition and localization.

We'll tune in just after the introduction by David Beers, the editor of The Tyee, close friend and a food activist at the beginning of this localization of food.

If you want to know more, I'm going to share a few of my rough notes from the talk - but I encourage you to listen to the real thing!

Radio Ecoshock

READ MORE - MY NOTES ON SUSTAINABLE CITY MOVEMENTS from the speech, with many helpful links.


John K. Fitzpatrick said...

The CD Quality link is actually downloading the LoFi version.

Alex Smith said...

Hi John

The show linked to this blog is our "Lo-Fi" version. That saves us a ton of bandwidth - and we brought it out due to user requests.

Some people download by phone (still), or have poor service in other countries. Others want to save every show, and the CD Quality version takes up too much hard drive space.

You have several options to get the CD Quality version.

1. read this version of the blog:

and click on the title at the top.

2. sign up for the CD Quality version of the podcast, by clicking on the podcast symbol on this page:

3. go to our show listings for the year, and choose CD Quality.

That list of shows is available right on the main page of, just below the description of this week's program.

Right now the address is:

In a few weeks (in 2011) it will be:

So, there are three ways to find the CD Quality verion of the program.

Let me know if you have any problems.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock