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How would you trade your life?

The other day as my sister and I were coming back from the grocery story, a fleeting thought came me. I know. I have lots of them. Just goes to prove that the brain is still functioning.

My internal question was “What would happen to people in the U.S. if all trade with outside food producers ceased?”

Think about that for a moment. How much of what you eat comes from other countries?

We take for granted so much of what we buy in the store. It’s truly amazing how much comes from outside the U.S. Take watermelons, for instance. Do you really believe that those in the store came from an American farmer?

Nope. Mexico. Watermelons need a long growing season. It’s not even officially summer yet. Our melons won’t be available until sometime toward the end of August at least. I know because I’ve grown them in a southern garden.

What about those fresh apples you just bought this past weekend? Most of them come from New Zealand/Australia.

Other than pineapple in season, most of that tropical fruit comes from countries in the southern hemisphere. Most of the rice is out of Asia.

My point is that we’ve become accustomed to eating exotic foods and foods out of season for so long that we don’t even notice anymore. Do you really think we can produce our own coffee and chocolate?

If, for some unbelievable reason, we closed trading with other countries for just food items, the population would suffer greatly. Withdrawal would run rampant through the streets. Think about the fights at Starbucks over those last lattes.

Those into the Green movement have been trying unsuccessfully to persuade people for years to eat local and in season. I’m sorry to report very little activity on that front. This populace is no longer capable of doing that small thing on a grand scale.

Let’s face it. We’ve gotten spoiled. I’m the first to admit it. Well, in this moment, anyway.

But that question also speaks to another major consideration. Small farmers who traditionally kept local markets supplied with seasonal foods are fewer than ever in history. The reason for that is foreclosure. They can’t make enough income to keep the family farm and operate it.

Big corporate agri producers, whose bottom line is the main factor of interest, have not only cut off the heads of the small family farmers, but buried them as well. It’s been happening since the sixties, but the escalation has intensified over the past 10-20 years, it seems.

So what would happen if our produce trade partners suddenly opted out or if the U.S. opted out of those contracts? What would life at the grocery store look like for the average American? And while you’re thinking about that, consider this.

How many of the other items you use on a daily basis for your personal comfort and well-being, including prescription/OTC drugs and supplies, would you be going without?

Just thought everyone should take a reality check. If you’re like me and began thinking about those questions seriously, just pondering alternatives became a juggling nightmare.

Now that I have wired you for the rest of the day, enjoy the week. Play a little, think a lot, and live your life as if you meant it.

A bientot,


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