Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bob Dunning: Being a locavore can be challenging


From page A2 | October 23, 2013 |

Admittedly, it’s a bit easier to be a locavore in Yolo County or the Central Valley of California than it is in, say, Leith, N.D., but unless I want to starve to death, it’s time to join the movement.
So, I’ve been trying very hard when I’m at Nugget to buy only those products that are marked with the “tractor” logo. I don’t really know if that means they’ve been brought to Nugget in a tractor or if I’m supposed to take them home in a tractor, but I do know they’re “local” in some, way, shape or form. Even if coffee beans are not native to Yolo County.
I do so love bananas, but I pass them up, because bringing them here from wherever they’re grown would cause even the best of tractors to burn an awful lot of fuel, and no stretch of the imagination can fit bananas into the local farm-to-fork movement. The same for Idaho potatoes.
Plus, since my genes presumably evolved in the northern latitudes somewhere on planet Earth, I probably shouldn’t be eating bananas in the first place. Or mangoes or pineapples or oranges or — and boy do I hate to say this — avocados.
I worry about the people in Crescent City, where just about the only local products available are smoked salmon and redwood bark.
And what of folks in North Dakota, where they raise a little wheat and the occasional sugar beet, but are woefully short of locally grown fruits and vegetables? They do raise cows and pigs and chickens, so they won’t starve to death eating locally, but I’m sure the American Heart Association wouldn’t call that a balanced diet.
The occasional glass of wine? Only if you live in areas of the country where they can grow grapes of one sort or another. If you can find a healthy vineyard between Bismarck and Fargo, let me know. The liquid of choice on the North Dakota prairie these days is spelled o-i-l.
I also wonder what will happen to all our Northern California farmers if the whole country buys into the locavore movement for its alleged health and economic benefits. I mean, if it’s good for Davis, Calif., it ought to be good for Elko, Nev.
If you travel up and down the Central Valley, you’ll realize very quickly that we raise far more rice and tomatoes and almonds and grapes and olives than the people of California can consume. Those crops and many more rely on national and world markets for our farmers to survive.
Now, even though this whole farm-to-fork deal rightly belongs on our side of the Causeway, it was interesting to see folks in the state capital try to join the movement with a number of events at the end of last month.
To kick it all off, there was a special farm-to-fork luncheon on the Guy West Bridge, which spans the American River and is a beautiful pedestrian and bicycle gateway to the Sacramento State campus.
Appropriately, there was a large, full-color picture in the Sacramento Bee showing Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento preparing to chow down while sitting at one of the picnic tables set up on the bridge.
Now what better way to learn about this totally relevant new movement than to hear from both an educator and a lawmaker?
Looking a bit closer at the farm-to-fork cuisine being presented, I noticed — right there in front of President Gonzalez and Assemblyman Dickinson — was a great big bag of Cheetos.
I’m not sure which local farmer raised and harvested those Cheetos or which VIP was going to put the first fork to them, but I will say it was an educational experience for me.
Exactly what I learned I plan to keep to myself.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]





New chemistry building in the works at UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

BeerFest expands to include cider

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

May 11 talk focuses on clean water

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Origami lovers will meet at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Breast cancer treatment update offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Health care documentary will screen at meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery



New book flows with good news about water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Injection wells endanger our aquifers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Living with this for 30 years

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis boys dominate first playoff match

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10





High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8







Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5