Letter: There’s a better way to shop and make smart choices

Editor,

“Demonstration at Tilth Market shows how to eat to save the world,” in the Aug. 30 issue of the Record, brought up some points with which I disagree.

The article stated eating foods such as quinoa could help save the world. Quinoa is mostly shipped from South America using fossil fuels. The mono-cropping and exporting of what was once a subsistence crop for the local population has increased poverty and land degradation. Instead of purchasing imported grain, buy local varieties such as einkorn, wheat and rye berries. Or buy local produce and make your side dishes from those.

Beef should not be bought from Brazil but as far as I could tell from online research it has been banned from coming into the U.S. since 2017 due to health concerns. Before the ban, the U.S. imported about 5 percent of its beef from Brazil, so you’d be hard-pressed to find it in a U.S. store even if it was sold here. Reducing U.S.-grown beef consumption will likely have no effect on the fate of the Amazon.

The best solution for the environmentally-minded omnivore would be to avoid buying any meat with an unknown origin. Going meatless one day a week isn’t going to do anything positive for the environment or one’s health if one is buying feedlot or factory-farmed meat the other six days of the week.

Buy local meat instead. We have such a strong community of farmers on this island and by supporting them you are supporting a healthier and more resilient environment. Animals are not detrimental to the land if raised in a mindful and managed way.

Regenerative agriculture that incorporates rotational grazing and other managed practices actually improves the health of the soil by building biomass, improving watersheds, and increasing ecological diversity within the soil. Farmlands provide green spaces that sequester carbon and provide habitat for beneficial species. Supporting local farmers supports our vibrant community by keeping dollars circulating on a local level.

My family thrives on meat from the animals we mindfully raise and harvest, and I believe that the health benefits of pasture-raised animals are woefully understated in current media along with the environmental benefits.

Here on Whidbey, products from the regenerative agricultural community are very accessible through farmers markets, CSAs and grocery stores. If you care about the environment, start at home with produce, grain and animal products grown locally and sustainably.

Jenny Goff

Langley

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