Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? There are so many different and yummy foods out there for us to enjoy, but it is also good for us to know where they come from. There are many things to consider when choosing the food you consume; economical and agricultural research, animal health, water resources and the importing and exporting of your food. In New York there are many farmers markets all year round that help distribute much of the fruits and vegetables while still using imports from other countries.
The USDA, United States Department of Agriculture, provides us with many guidelines on the importing process. When importing meat, poultry and eggs there are five basic steps to follow: it must originate from certified countries, the APHIS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, must be contacted, countries and establishment become eligible by a ‘equivalence determination process’, goods have to reach the labeling requirements and after meeting these expectations it then is inspected one last time by FSIS,
Food Safety and Inspection Service. There are certain countries that are eligible to export meat, poultry and eggs to our country. Canada is actually the only country to produce eggs for the U.S. For meat and poultry we can receive our goods from a variety of countries from Australia to Uruguay.
The packaging of meat, poultry and eggs is also important, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves all food packaging material before being shipped. The manufacture has to send a petition along with the food ready to be shipped. “Packaging materials entering a meat or poultry plant must be accompanied or covered by a guaranty or statement of assurance from the packaging supplier. The guaranty must state that the material complies with the FFDCA. It must also state the brand name, supplier, and conditions for use, including temperature and other limits” (New York State). With following all the steps properly we should be able to receive and consume healthy food.
New York State Department of Agriculture has guidelines to disturbing food locally, country wide and international. As a food distributer you have to be licensed and registered. In New York there are numerous amounts of farmers markets working together to distribute fresh healthy food to the people, all year round. Fruits and Vegetables are among the main components of the farmers markets. They provide activities and services to get the food to schools, factories and get them ready for international trade. And all food goes through the proper inspection before the selling of it. New York farmers markets are very thorough in that they give you list of when and where the markets will be held and what times of the year certain products will be available.
There are also ecological and economic advantages and disadvantages to locally grown food and imported foods. In New York one of the disadvantages in eating the locally grown food is that some of the lakes surrounding us are not fresh. Some of them are contaminated to the point that you can’t swim in them. It creates a chemical and physical imbalance within the ecosystem forcing New York to outsource water from the bigger lakes, like the Great Lakes or the Finger Lakes. So making sure that the water resources we have are fresh and ready for drinking and the watering of the crops is important. That’s where the advantages come in and there is endless supply of fresh water for the crops and drinking.
The ecosystems survive better with the fresh water and the food web can establish itself. When we look at the advantages and disadvantages from an economic stand point in New York the weather can become a common denominator. The weather in New York can be drastic in the winter with the Lake effect just waiting to kick in. But, New York is also known for the farmers markets that are all year round. The summers are hot and the winters are bitterly cold but with all the farming land surrounding the big NY it’s hard not to take advantage of the weather.
When we think about our food and all the options we have how do we decide what’s best for our families? We have choices to make when purchasing food;
when we buy chicken do we get organic or not? These choices do impact us globally; hence “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Our environment is important and it’s also the nesting ground for our food source.
We as the people should make sure our actions and decisions gear toward protecting the world we live in. When purchasing our food I do believe that the best would be organic. It supplies our animals with the healthiest appetite to provide the best produce to us. Farmers markets are the best way to support your town or community and making sure you also are getting healthy food for you family. Everything plays apart with something else and making sure we do our part would be making sure we are the healthiest we can be.
New York State. (n.d.). Department of Agriculture and Markets. In New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/TheDepartment.html.
Trefil, J., & Hazen, R.M. (2011). The Sciences: An integrated approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
USDA. (n.d.). Importing Goods. In United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=IMPORTING_GOODS.