The average American meal contains foods from at least 5 different countries around the world, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. We often hear from the media that the average food travels “1500 miles” to get to us, but this number was calculated from a limited study done by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and is really only true if you live in Chicago.
From chicken feed to detoxifier of heavy metals, people have found tremendous value in wheatgrass over the centuries. Wheatgrass can be traced back over 5000 years to ancient Egypt where it was priced for its effect on health and vitality. It came to the west in the 1930’s when agricultural chemist Charles F. Schnabel began experimenting with young grasses. He fed them to sick hens, discovering they not only healed quickly, but increased their egg production. Today, you can find wheatgrass in many health foods stores and cafes.
Last week, Ned from Green Tractor Farms uttered the words “no more cucumbers, the frost got them.” My heart sank a little, knowing that the amazing seasonal bounty of New Mexico was slowly coming to an end. It got me thinking about local, and what is truly means to us as consumers.
We take for granted the thousands of products available to us all the time in our groceries stores and markets. In fact, the average supermarket in 2013 carried 43,844 products! It is amazing that we’ve come so far in the last 150 years. Even my Grandmother can recall how only a few items were available during the cold Pennsylvania winters.