The green, slimy mass lurched at me from the bottom of the crisper drawer. I fended it off with a dish rag while rescuing the still-edible produce piled on top. Rats. Those green beans (or was it the chard?) looked so great when I bought them—I hated for them to go to waste.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes produce seems to spoil right away, while other times it seems to last a few days in the fridge? To some extent, it’s the nature of that particular vegetable. Some kinds just last longer than others. But that’s not the whole story. I find that produce purchased out of season just doesn’t keep as long, probably because it had so far to go to get here in the first place.
Standing in front of the open refrigerator door, you survey the contents. What do you want to snack on? In today’s globalized world, this is a complicated question. In April I commented about our nutritional choices. Today I’m more interested in the environmental repercussions.
How is the food grown? What fertilizers are used? Are the plants sprayed with pesticides? And are organic growing methods automatically better? How about the use of fossil fuels to transport food over long distances? Or the energy and other resources used in processing, preserving, and packaging those convenience products? If you believe all the hype, you could be convinced that an environmental apocalypse is just around the corner, all because of our food choices.