Monday, July 26, 2010

The Real cost of Cherries out of season.

I love cherries.

I was at the farmers markets this weekend and there was a stall selling cherries.

Cherries for me are synonymous with New Years.....because, like most stone fruit, they crop in summer. Its currently the middle of winter here in Australia.

Now, the whole importing food out of season concept isn't new to me, I am not naive... but I've never placed a figure on it before.

1kg of cherries imported from California? 15,932km or 973 kg Carbon. That is the REAL cost of a kg of Cherries. There's a great tool here if you want to calculate food miles.

Worse, at another stall, Californian lemons, right next to Australian lemons. So not only are we importing lemons at the peak of our own citrus season, we're cold storing US lemons and selling them old, out of season.

If it was legislated that imported fruit and vegetable sellers had to advertise the 'food miles' and carbon emissions generated for each kg of fruit or vegetables, how long do you think it'd be before importing food became unviable economically? Its already environmentally unviable.

How do you protest? I wanted to write a letter to someone who might be in a position to do something about it, but who? The agricultural minister? My local MP?

Fact is, I don’t actually know. I can’t find the ‘right person’ there is no easy ‘go to’ website or some such that tells you, who is responsible for what.

Is this the real reason so many of us are apathetic? Because the effort involved to voice opposition is too much?

Well, I am not going to be dissuaded by the effort involved, I am going to find out who my letter needs to go to. (Probably starting with my local Greens member for advice)

There needs to be a website, it needs to be easy for people to find who the person responsible for a particular area of governance is.

Maybe I’ll start one.

Have you ever wanted to write a letter in protest (or even in commendation) but just forgot about it because you couldn’t find the right person to send it to? About what topics?

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