Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Locavore Ecology

Here's an article from a recent edition of the NYT on the lack of infrastructure - and specifically small-scale processors - to support the growing local food movement. Indeed, there are no such processors for poultry in Tennessee at all, with the closest being in Bowling Green, Kentucky. And while that's only a few hours drive for us, I do know people that drive 6 and more hours to get their birds federally inspected! Every turn of the tire makes these products less local, and therefore less sustainable, and I'd bet there's evidence to show that in many cases, although pasture-raised poultry is no doubt raised more humanely, it's carbon footprint is much larger than the typical Tyson meat-blobs.

There is also another gigantic hole in this whole system: local - let alone organic - grain. For the month of March, for example, each dozen eggs the Ecotone hens produced took roughly six pounds of grain/feed, which after being driven from Iowa or Nebraska to Edward's Feed in Lebanon, TN, takes another 100 miles round trip of driving for me to retrieve and ensconce in the feed building.

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