If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know I'm a strong proponent of buying locally, whenever possible. (In the interest of full disclosure I have been unable to find a substitute for, or way to curb my lust for the banana!)
Sometimes locally means from my hometown, sometimes it means, from my country. I try very hard NOT to eat something from another country when the very same thing is available from my own country AT THE SAME TIME.
There are tomato farmers in Florida plowing under perfectly good tomatoes because they can't sell them. The recession has hit them hard as a tomato isn't seen as a necessity. Along with that, DIRT CHEAP tomatoes are coming in from Mexico. Because of this influx, tomatoes have been selling for $4-$6 a box. It costs $10 to grow them.
I realize people want to get the most for their money-I certainly do. I realize in hard times people have to make choices, I do too. But we need to realize that buying dirt cheap veggies from other countries does more to hurt our overall economy than it does strengthen our personal pocketbooks. Not only are more and more farmers being forced out of farming. But now those people are less likely to contribute financially to their own communities. I'm guessing that tomato farmer isn't going out to his local restaurant any time soon. I'm guessing that restaurant may not need to hire your college age daughter this summer because demand is down. And I'm guessing your college age daughter is going to have some trouble paying for her books next fall. It's all connected.
In scary economic times we need to do what we can to support ourselves but we need to try and manage that in a way that isn't detrimental to others, and in the long run, to ourselves as well.
In many parts of the country the growing season is quickly getting underway-Please consider buying locally gown fresh food. It' s better food, it's fresher, it has not traveled thousands of miles to reach you, and you will be helping your own community.