If you got an e-mail or other invitation to this blog, then you know who I am and what I’m up to, and it’s great to have you here. I do have to request that you not use my real name in commenting, since I’m anonymizing the content as much as possible; I need to protect the privacy of my research subjects. Call me “Charlie.” If you came in “through the front door,” so to speak, let me fill you in on what’s going on. I’m a student at a small college in the Great Northwest, majoring in Environmental Studies, and this blog is part of my senior year project. I’m taking a year-long look at the American food system from a user’s point of view. I’m trying to answer the question of whether a busy, low-income family can transform its diet from the conventional, industrial-agriculture model to one that is more locally-sourced, and hopefully more sustainable. The family in question? Mine.
I started out specifically to examine the environmental impacts, both small-and large-scale, that this transformation would generate. I soon realized that the economic and social implications would be every bit as important, so I will take a long look at those as well. This project will last for at least the forthcoming school year, so I should have plenty of time and space to find out whether it is feasible for a poor family on a tight budget, without benefit of a garden or chickens or much else in the way of external resources, to dramatically localize their eating.
While I intend to keep this blog as on-topic as possible, I may post some of the other writing I’ve done on environmental issues while in school. I should be able to put that in a sidebar somewhere, so it doesn’t interfere with the topic at hand. I’m still finding my way around this blog site, so bear with me while I get settled in. And I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone about keeping comments polite and on-topic, so I won’t even bother with that.