Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reducing our carbon footprint

Everyone seems to be increasingly aware of health - our own and that of the Big Blue Marble on which we live. We've all heard about CFC gases, carbon emissions and the state of the ozone layer - even if we don't understand much about them. But out of concern for this and future generations, we should each do our little bit to be green.

Organic produce - whether animal or vegetable - is free from pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones, and therefore it is kinder to the environment, livestock and our health. But I have my doubts about how truly 'clean' it is, growing as it does in our generally polluted atmosphere.

Unless you live in an agricultural belt, all produce still has to be harvested, packaged and transported to the supermarket shelves and coolers. The refridgerated trucks used for transporting are not environmentally friendly (have you ever driven behind one?), nor is the plastic wrap generally used for packaging. And how far has that produce been transported? Where did it originate?

The moment vegetables and fruits are harvested (organic or not) they start to deteriorate. The longer they are wrapped in plastic the more estrogens they absorb (the softer the plastic, the more estrogens there are given off). How long has the stuff been sitting in the supermarket? How long has it been sitting in your fridge? Most of the fruit sold in this country grows in the Cape (much of the best is exported) and it is a long way from the Ceres valley to our northern borders, and the rest of the world - making a large carbon footprint!

So support your local farmers. Their produce has probably been harvested within the last twenty-four hours, will more than likely be in it's natural state (not packaged) and it will still be full of nutrients.

Or you can always grow your own.

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