One more issue that I didn't think receives enough treatment by Kingsolver or elsewhere is the possibility of making certified "locally canned" or "locally frozen" food commercially available in the grocery stores on a wider scale. In cold climates in February and March, the farmers' markets are all closed, there's a foot of snow on the ground, but you're still trying to eat healthily and locally. What then?
Kingsolver had one chapter in the book where she wrote about a sticker that local farmers could put on their produce. Shoppers in the grocery store could look for the sticker and it would help inform their food choices. It seems to me that such a program could be expanded to include canned and frozen vegetables, if not other foods. Shoppers who don't or can't raise their own animals and can their own vegetables (which I think constitute the majority of shoppers) could then still more easily shop locally, especially in the (significant) part of the year when farmers' markets are closed. Maybe some of the food (jolly green) giants could even help with this, and open local canning and processing centers. Or small, local processing companies could open up and buy local produce and can/freeze it on a medium scale and distribute it to local stores. There could even be a role for government in facilitating these kinds of local processing centers through tax breaks (local food "enterprise zones"?)
Anyway, regardless of the specifics, to me that seems like a much more viable model than expecting everyone to do their own canning, especially in cllimates with short growing seasons, such as the one I live in.
But I found that chapter to be one of the most annoying in her book. It presented the idea of the "locally grown" sticker as very impractical and seemed to dwell unnecessarily and negatively on all the complications and difficulties for the farmers in adhering to the plan, and then to top it all off, the chapter ended with a sarcastic dig at "happy grocery store music." It was that chapter's snide, negative tone, more than any other part of the book, that made me think Kingsolver was more interested in pushing a personal agenda than really helping the situation.
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