What I Choose to Buy at the Co-op... and Why
by Louise Frazier, Nutrition
From an interview with Barbara Coughlin: “I know I can make a daily difference for climate change with my next meal”. When asked to elaborate on this, Barbara referred to three criteria she observes in choosing foods that Michael Pollan indicates in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma:
1.The farm it comes from and how it is grown
2.The processing and packaging involved in getting the food to market
3.The amount of transportation used
She has to consider how many stops her food makes on its way to her kitchen table.
interviewed about his book, Michael Pollan
said “the most serious problem with our food system is its contribution
global warming—20% of fuel use is going to feed ourselves.” This
sense Barbara has developed regarding food choices, and she feels the
consumer definitely can make a difference in alleviating the build-up
warming. In backing this up, she regards Andy Jones’s statistics in Eating
Oil as compelling—“and he
means petroleum, not olive,” says Barbara!
Andy states: “Consider that in
account the farm where her food
originates, Barbara buys Hawthorne Valley Farm yogurt and quark because
come from a farm nearby in
When buying meat, she makes sure it is locally, humanely and sustainably raised, which is the quality of meat—as well as eggs—the Co-op carries. She said that studies show it takes about three times more energy to raise animals on factory farms than animals who are grass fed and free-range grazed. As for cheese from the Co-op, which she noted has a nice array from small farms in our region, one of her favorites is Berle Farm goat cheese from Hoosick.
Keeping in mind the second criterion of less processing and packaging, Barbara prefers to shop in aisle 3. There the food has gone through little if any processing and is packaged by the shopper in a single, often recycled container. She especially finds her breakfast cereals and grains in the bulk section, where the oat flakes have only gone through a light steaming and rolling process still retaining their nutrients. Organic raisins, coconut, dried beans and nuts are also available in the bulk section to complete breakfast or main meal selections.
likes to top her cereal with the fresh
bottled nonhomogenized milk from Evans Farm in
the third criterion, transportation,
at this time of the year Barbara confines herself to buying local
in the co-op by the piece and priced by the pound from the produce
was startled to hear Bill McKibben, in a February speech at the