How to Escape Global Food

Hey readers, was mentioned in the Globe and Mail today! Way of the Locavore: Four Ways to Escape Global Food by Wency Leung offers ideas on how to go about local sourcing your food. was featured under Lesson 2: Start Small:

If you were to analyze the lifecycle of every grocery item you bought, you’d be paralyzed whenever you went shopping, says Liz Gaige, the Vancouver resident behind the website

“You don’t have to change your whole diet,” she says. “But if you just shifted 5 per cent of your grocery budget into eating more locally, eating more healthfully and … thinking about where your stuff’s coming from, it has this huge impact.”

Ms. Gaige says she’s always had an interest in “the artisan approach to stuff,” and has been buying her food at farmers markets long before it was popular to do so. She believes in supporting small, local businesses as a way of strengthening the local economy and building community ties.

But it doesn’t matter what your motivations are for dropping out, she says; every step has greater consequences. If you start buying organic meat, for instance, simply because you want a better-tasting option, that decision may also be better for the environment and more humane, she says. And once you start examining one aspect of your food, it becomes natural to scrutinize other parts of your diet. For example, if you consider buying organic, free-range eggs, you may soon find yourself buying organic, free-range chicken and other meats too.

“I never expected to be like a tree-hugger, but I kind of am just because of these small, incremental steps that I take,” Ms. Gaige says, noting that she grows some vegetables in her yard, and buys non-medicated meat and organic produce.

“I’m not going to agonize and spend my life freaking out about every food decision, but it’s about, on a greater consciousness, ‘Okay, what am I trying to accomplish here?’ ”

The online version is slightly expanded from the print version, so if you only read the newspaper you’ll miss some of the juicy parts. Check out the full article.

2 thoughts on “How to Escape Global Food

  1. David V

    Hi Liz:
    Congratulations on your commitment to locally sourced organic produce and meats. Keep in mind, however, that only a tiny proportion of the world’s population will ever be able to eat this way as the majority of it is too poor and, in addition, the efficiency of organic agriculture is far too low.
    Your photo exudes vitality–great. But why don’t you extend your “organic” habits to your appearance–no more cosmetics, hair gunk, etc–lots of synthetic chemicals in that stuff.
    While I am riding my horse, how about the ultimate challenge for the organic lifestyle–no prescription drugs. If one takes responsibility for one’s own health, like you are doing, then the noxious products of big pharma should not be required.
    Keep up your pursuit of robust health.

    David V
    Wasaga Beach ON

  2. liz gaige Post author

    Hi David,
    Thanks for your comments. Here’s a little secret: I’m not an extremist and have no plans to become one. And I’m okay with that. (Check out About for details.)

    I’m just a regular gal who started looking at what I could do to benefit my health, my community and then, indirectly, the earth. For me it started with small steps 20 years ago and that’s still how it’s progressing, one step at a time.

    I have no plans to drop off the grid, quit drinking my fair trade coffee, or stop shaving my legs. I eat the occasional banana and sometimes indulge in sushi. I prefer alternative health options, but I wouldn’t dream of criticizing my friend — or anyone else — for taking painkillers and undergoing chemotherapy.

    It may not be realistic to eat organic all the time, or do away with chemicals completely, or change our food systems overnight. But that’s a crazy reason not to start taking a few baby steps in that direction.

    Whether you’re doing it for taste, health, community, animal or human welfare, or the environment, there are fringe benefits and a positive ripple effect. It’s accidental activism, really, the sort where you won’t need to carry a placard or do a march. You just need to eat good quality food. A kind of delicious activism.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, It is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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