Thinking global, eating local

For one week now, my parents and I have been trying to eat only stuff that is made within 50 km of Freiburg, where we live. The pictures shows both of them getting interviewed by our local radio station SWR. The project has generated some media attention already. Note the rabbit collection in the background.

That sounds funny but has a very serious background: We produce a lot of CO2 not only by driving around in our cars or by travelling, but also by the stuff we eat. Lots of our foodstuff is grown or processed in distant places. And that does not only extend to the obvious stuff like coffee or chocolate, bananas or Kiwis, but by a lot of other food like pasta or bread.

You get into talking with other people a lot, nothing is such a good topic then food. When you go into shopping places and ask around for stuff that is grown here in the region. Farmers markets, such as the one in Stühlinger or at Freiburgs Cathedral square work very well, but supermarkets are awful for getting local stuff. Despite getting to talk with lots of people, you are  thinking more about what you eat and where you get it from.

Some stuff IS really easy to get: Bread, Sausages (yes I’m German) and cheese from the farmers markets here in town. Other stuff was more cumbersome like marmalade and diary products but still easy to manage (Schwarzwaldmilch) but then there was stuff like tea that was nearly impossible to get, and I’m not talking of black tea, green tea or herbal tea. Apparently all the big tea plantation for herbal tea are outside the 50km radius somewhere in Austria.

There is more information on that on a blog maintained by a Freiburg teacher 50 km Diät


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