You are what you eat.
Imagine this in geographic terms. If you do eat healthy, unmanufactured food obtained in our local supermarkets, chances are you are quite Californian.
The good news is that there are more and more opportunities to become British Columbian inside and out by eating local.
If you want to be ultra-local you can even grow your own food or you can buy some of the wonderful stuff produced by local growers from local soil.
Although we have lost much of the verdant farmland that dominated the Fraser Valley through the 20th century, the farmers of the Fraser Valley are still generating more than half the $1.4 billion in farm income in B.C.
That’s a lot of berries, eggs, poultry, vegetables, nursery products, mushrooms and dairy products produced by our farming neighbors.
Talking with Kim Heuring, the manager for the Langley Community Farmers’ Market recently, it was clear to me that eating local is more than an issue of taste — it is a matter of survival, for the local farmers and for us.
“In the occurrence of a natural disaster we have only two and a half days’ worth of food,” said Heuring.
“With the recent Tsunami scare this point really came home for me. We really need to support our local farmers.”
“The Fraser Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the province, yet the majority of our food travels hundreds, and often thousands, of miles to get to our plates. All the while our local farmers are becoming extinct.
This is why the Langley Community Farmers’ Market is dedicated to helping create sound food networks by providing an easily accessible venue at which local farmers can connect with the general public.”
Soon you will have a chance to see what local farmers offer up at the Langley Community Farmers’ Market. Every Wednesday starting today, May 25, and running to Oct. 5, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Kwantlen University parking lot will be filled with local vendors who “make it, bake it or grow it.”
I said earlier it was more than an issue of taste, but taste does come into it.
As the cherry blossoms and daffodils erupt into bloom here in Langley this spring, the fresh vegetables and fruits are putting down roots into the rich Fraser Valley soil to grow into the flavorful product when the time is ripe.
Can’t you just taste it?
David Clements is professor of biology and environmental studies at Trinity Western University.