Let’s be honest, generally speaking the politics of produce don’t get much play in the media. I’d like to think that we at The Melon are a unique exception. Columnists like Jen Drake and Elliot Trotter have more than soiled themselves with budding movements like the Tacoma Food Co-Op and the North End’s “blossoming” community garden scene. Even the illusive R.R. Anderson has converted his front lawn into a sunflower farm and I recently campaigned for school board on a green platform that included implementation of the state’s Healthy Farms, Healthy Kids bill.
But now, Joe La Sac (resident film director) has developed a film about Eating Locally in Pierce County which, I feel, deserves special attention. Granted, much of it review for those already aware of stalled attempts to expand access to healthy alternatives in the area, but the claim that apparently Washington is “one of the hungriest states in the nation” and that “hunger levels in Pierce County exceed the state average” offers newfound urgency to the issue. I would encourage readers to pay special attention to minutes 10:00-11:00 of the film and consider if local food security is a civic concern. If so, which of the candidates running for City Council or Mayor are offering solutions to the problem.
Other questions to consider:
1: Do the present arrangements of local farmers markets reinforce the belief that farmers markets are designed to cater to the Tacoma North End elite?
2: How do we define “local food”?
3: Historically, agriculture – as an industry – has always been based on some form of slave or subordinate labor (serfdom, slavery, share-cropping, migrant workers etc). How can we insure that budding local food industries become successful while simultaneously providing meaningful jobs that can sustain families.
4: Given Tacoma’s history as an industrial center, and the fact that our air/water quality levels are among the state’s poorest, is it really safe to buy local Pierce County produce? If so, from where specifically (I’m guessing not Vashon Island because of it’s relation to ARSARCO
WHO’S RUNNING FOR OFFICE WHO MIGHT HAVE THE ANSWERS?
Jim Merritt (Mayoral Candidate)
Marilyn Strickland (Mayoral Candidate)
Joe Lonergan (City Council Candidate)
Beckie Summers Kirby (City Council Candidate)
Marty Cambpell (City Council Candidate)
Roxanne Murphy (City Council Candidate)
Victoria Woodards (City Council Candidate)
Kevin Rojecki (City Council Candidate)
Jake Fey (City Council Candidate)