Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eat Carefully and Save a Bird

I just came upon this article in today's New York Times (if you aren't a subscriber, you'll need to sign up for an online account to read this; don't worry, it's free!). In a nutshell, it says what many have long suspected: it's best for the environment, and for migrating birds in particular, to buy and eat locally grown produce. Fruits and veggies grown abroad, particularly those grown in South America, are often grown with pesticides banned in the US because of their dangerous effects on birds—including the migrants that North American birders so cherish at this time of year.

I've tended to avoid buying Chilean grapes and other fruit that I know is also grown locally, mostly because I'm cheap and the local stuff is less expensive. (When the local grapes and stone fruit aren't available—say, in mid-January—I tend to stick to apples and oranges and grapefruit; for some reason, they always seem more appropriate in the winter. And did I mention I'm cheap?)

And the article above shows that at least this time, my hunches were right. Just as we enjoy the varying varieties of birds that appear in different seasons, maybe we should appreciate our seasonally varying choices in locally grown produce.

Or we should until we convince the rest of the world that those seemingly insignificant little birds in their fields are worth protecting.

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