December 26, 2006

The Path to Recovery is Paved with Fresh and Local Vegetables

The year is winding down and reflections are inevitable. Small Failures is still very young and I am still feeling it out, choosing new directions, and generally learning about what makes sense for both Small Failures and my readers.

I received a wonderful Christmas gift yesterday: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This book has been getting a lot of press, much like Fast Food Nation did when it came out, and for good reason. The book traces several food chains that we all live with nowadays: industrial agriculture (factory farms, etc.), alternative agriculture (organics et al.), and hunter-gatherer agriculture (few of us ever participate, of course). Pollan's writing and use of language is remarkable, and I look forward to devouring the entire book.

Having only read through the introduction, I find myself wondering about my own ability to really affect change. The whole point of Small Failures is to begin with one, me (or you, the reader), and work on that. I do believe in the need for mass institutional change, but I also believe that successful social revolution begins at the individual level and ripples outward. (Geez, I promised myself I wouldn't get all polemic up in here.)

With all that said, I have discovered a blog that beautifully captures this idea: Eat Local Challenge. A group of folks scattered across North America is exploring what it's like to only eat food produced locally. This is a tough challenge, one many of us have a hard time with. But as Pollan's book and my own experiences both reveal, I don't believe I need to sacrifice anything but old habits in order to do so.

So onward into 2007. Small Failures wishes you well and encourages you to share your own Small Failures with us. Email me at jessie [at] smallfailures [dot] com or simply post a comment. It matters.

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2 Comment(s)

Anonymous Liz said...

Just a slight correction... (I'm one of the writers at the Eat Local Challenge group blog) we take part in month-long challenges with a focus on eating as locally as possible for that time. The next one is coming up in September, with an emphasis on putting up local foods for the winter.

I feel it's nearly impossible to affect change on a grand scale, but leading by example and teaching others how easy it can be to (for instance) eat locally has incredible benefits. I've been talking up local eating for over a year now, and it has become easier in a sense as more people come to understand the importance, but also more difficult as I start to feel like a broken record! :)

4:18 PM  
Blogger Jessie Jane said...

Ooh, thanks for the clarification, Liz!

I've actually always loved the idea of canning foods, but never got around to trying it. Maybe now's my chance.

I just signed up at, so I'm ready!


2:08 PM  

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