I stumbled on this article from a 2006 issue of Canada’s leading environmental journal, Alternatives…
THE BUDDHIST AND THE TOMATO: Why sustainable choices are often so difficult. By Douglas Vincent.
THE GLARING FLUORESCENCE of Atlantic Superstore lights must have blinded me. How could I buy a shiny, temptingly red – and cheap – Mexican tomato when I knew I could purchase local, organic ones at the Halifax Farmers’ Market?
Why did I do it? What possessed me to buy outside my foodshed? I’d like to deny responsibility, blame the whole thing on the fact that I hadn’t had my reusable mug of fair-trade, organic coffee, but I accept responsibility. Was it price? Was it laziness? Was it the seductive glow of glossy red tomato goodness?
As an environmentally conscious Buddhist, I should have known better.
Later, as I was eating my flavourless sandwich and feeling guilty about the pollution my tomato’s transcontinental journey had produced, I wondered: Why do sustainable choices often seem so difficult?
Surfing the web for an answer, I came across a group of “locavores” in the San Francisco Bay area trying to live by the 100-mile diet. Their site lists some of the usual motivations for eating locally: reduce air pollution, support family farms and invest in the community. It also suggests that the distance our food travels equals our separation from knowing how and by whom it was produced, processed and transported.
We’d like to catch up with the author, Douglas Vincent, and find out how he has fared in the years since writing this article. Can you help us find him?