Geotarianism in Action

Siel, the Green LA Girl wrote a feature for Treehugger on The 100 Mile Diet. This is actually a great article for anyone wanting to practice “geotarianism” (the practice of eating locally grown and produced sustainable foods). Descriptions of farmers’ market products, as well as goods from the Co-Op in Santa Monica were really insightful and helpful – I’d never think to check and see if my locally produced tofu was also made with California grown soybeans. Only thing I’d think to add onto that would be some oranges and loquats from a project like Fallen Fruit.

The geotarian revolution is coming – MoJo covered it last spring, in an article called No Bar Code. A revolution against corporate agriculture may be in the makings. Now that Whole Foods is so mainstream, the logical next step seems to be in that direction, to not only buy organic, but to buy organic foods from the immediate area, foods which required less fossil fuels to get from the field to the grocery store display.

Geotarianism, unfortunately, like the car-free lifestyle, is a great idea, but hard to practice full time. It would require a complete restructure of society to change the patterns of agriculture and food distribution, just as it would to change Los Angeles into a less sprawling city that didn’t require cars. But, like the car-free lifestyle, it’s something that can be worked into a daily routine. Even just supporting the farmers’ markets is a good start, or requesting that a local grocery store carry California lettuce instead of Mexican, or San Joaquin oranges instead of Chinese clementines. And I’m really hoping that it becomes easier with time, that the distribution patterns shift, that the lack of fuel costs in transportation becomes a factor in the favor of locally grown foods.

3 Replies to “Geotarianism in Action”

  1. I’ve never heard it called geotarianism.

    The term I’ve heard is locavore.

    I generally try to eat organic first, then local. Of course, locally grown organic is the best. While there may indeed be health benefits to locally grown food, the primary reason I do it is to support the smaller local farmers.

  2. The problem is that a lot of organic farming is no more sustainable than inorganic farming.

    That said, my preference is to get my food from the farmer’s market as much as possible. But on the other hand, it’s easier to move agricultural products than to move agriculture, so there are places where non-local food makes the most sense.

    Whole Foods, incidentally, seems to be the only place that consistently labels the origins of their produce out of the local supers.

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