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A Borderless Society

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A Borderless Society
Brennan Kelly
Kaplan University
Professor Miller
April 14, 2013

The Borderless Society It is amazing how many food choices we have available to us at any given time. It doesn’t matter if the food we consume is a product of the United State, we still have access to it. Even fruits and vegetables which are only available a certain time of year are now available year round because it comes from all over the world. With one meal we can consume food which is grown in three different countries. It is something we seldom think of when we are in our local grocery store. The meal I chose to discuss is grilled chicken breast, avocado stuffed with shrimp, and quinoa. This meal has become a staple in my house, since I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I am trying to consume food which is better for me and my family. Grilled chicken is made with salt and pepper. The chicken was grilled on a propane grill. Nature’s Promise is the brand of chicken I buy because, “Nature’s Promise meats contain no antibiotics or growth hormones” (Nature’s Promise, 2013). I know that it is a product of the United States from the packaging, but with all my research, I could not find exactly where the chickens where raised. While researching chicken, some of the farming practices are quite disturbing. “Mass market chicken breasts are produced on giant factory farms where manure runoff pollutes the water and noxious ammonia fumes pollute the air. The chickens are transferred from the factory farm to the poultry plant, during which they can spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria into surrounding farms” (Barrington, V. 2011). Besides the damage the factory farms are doing to the environment, the chickens are being shipped, which could be well over 1000 miles. As I discussed earlier, I do not know exactly where in the United States the chicken originated.

The next item in my meal was avocado stuffed with shrimp, lemon juice, onion powder, and paprika. The avocado is a product of Mexico and is grown on trees. “Mexico is the world’s leader for avocado growing, accounting for 35% of global production” (Geo-Mexico, n.d.). Avocados must be shipped in a refrigerated container to the United States via ship, truck, train, or plane. The second ingredient with the avocado was shrimp. After reading the package, the shrimp are a wild caught product of India. I am sure these shrimp were caught by commercial fishing boats, frozen and shipped to the United States via cargo ship. Once in the United States the probably traveled via train or truck. The final ingredient would be lemons, Sunkist lemon to be exact. This lemon is a product of the United States. “Fresh Sunkist lemons from California and Arizona are available all year. These two states product approximately 95% of the United States crop” (Sunkist, 2013). Sunkist is one of the only products so far in all my ingredients which talk about their “sustainability, such as recycled packaging, environmentally friendly packaging, pest management, by product, and energy related projects” (Sunkist, 2013). Their website took pride in their sustainability, which is good to know as a consumer. The final item to complete my meal is quinoa. Quinoa is a chenopod which originates in South America. “Almost no famers outside the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile grow it” (Bland, A., 2012). The demand in quinoa has helped the poor farmers in these countries, which have been living off of quinoa their whole lives. Since the popularity, quinoa has been exported all over the world. Just like most items which are imported to the United States, it too would come by way of ship, train, truck, or plane. “Locavore’s are people who pay attention to where their food comes from and commit to eating local food as much as possible”(Maiser, J. 2007). After doing some research, I found that

when it comes to the chicken in my meal, there are many farmers locally that provide chicken breast, just like the grocery stores. The local farmers offer free range chicken, but the only problem is that at one local farm the price is $9.50 per pound, as opposed to $2.50 per pound at the local grocery store. Environmentally, it is better for the environment to get the locally grown chicken, but the main problem is that most American’s cannot afford to pay that much. Economically it is not feasible for most people to buy locally grown chicken, even if it is better for them and the environment. When it comes to avocados, lemons, and quinoa, the climate in the Hudson Valley does not help to produce these products. But, we can reduce our carbon footprints by growing and buying these products in the United States. Avocados are grown largely in California, and lemons are also California and Arizona. Since quinoa has become a phenomenon there are famers in the Northwest which are starting to produce quinoa. “To date just one sizeable operation, White Mountain Farm in the Colorado Rockies, has made a big investment in seed. They planted 120 acres of quinoa this May and harvested 70 after a summer of destructive weather”(Bland, A., 2012). Thinking locally can help to reduce the impact we have on our environment, but the local farmers have to assist the economically challenged to obtain their products. If the items we are want in our diet is not available in our local area, then we need to try to at least be able to get it as a product of the United States. There will still be environmental repercussions to food traveling 3000 miles across the country, but it is better than it traveling around the world. After the research done, personally I am going to call around to local farmers and try to get my chicken breast locally.

Barrington, Vanessa (2011). The Green Plate: Down with factory Chicken Flesh. EcoSalon. Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from

Bland, Alastair (2012). Quinoa Craze Inspires North America to Start Growing Its Own. NPR. Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from

Lemons (2013). Sunkist. Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from

Maiser, Jennifer (2007). 10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore. PBS. Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from

Nature’s Promise (n.d.). Stop & Shop. Retrieved on April 14, 2013 from

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