It sounds like a crazy question. A grocery store, of course, if you live in the US. Other parts of the world may get food each day from a market. Some people forage or grow their food. So for us, a grocery store is normal. We think it will always be there.
As I have written in previous posts, the whole food system and grocery stores are responsible for much of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Food can travel thousands of miles before it gets to a grocery store bin or shelf. Processed food contains even more CO2 in the form of embodied energy because it requires many manufacturing plants to process the product. All that CO2 contributes to the climate crisis.
Who thinks about all that? Not many.
But, let’s look at another side of the food issue; the pandemic. If there is one glaring issue the pandemic revealed, it is that our supply chain is fragile . . . it is very vulnerable. At the beginning, shelves were empty as people rushed to stock up. As the virus spread to meat packing facilities, they started closing. The trickledown effect had cattle, pig, and chicken producers with no place to take their animals so they had to slaughter them. If you ordered anything online, you may have noticed that it took longer to get to you, depending on where it was coming from.
I don’t know about you but I go to the grocery store every week. Without it, I’m gone. Sure, I am working on growing my own food, mainly for environmental reasons, but I am not there yet. I don’t know how to forage. I don’t hunt and won’t start because I am a vegetarian. I bet you go to the grocery store, too.
Local food and growing your own food have never been more important. Weaning oneself off processed food is another good step. Supporting farmers’ markets and community sponsored agriculture (CSAs) are great choices. If you don’t have the space to grow your own food or live in a condo or apartment, many towns and cities have community garden plots. They charge a small fee for the use of the plot and supply water. The plots are plowed in the spring. There are also a lot of very knowledgeable people gardening there. It is also a very peaceful place to spend time taking care of your garden.
Food security is critical. Most societies in the past collapsed because of soil depletion, deforestation, and water scarcity. We are going through all of those globally now. I highly recommend Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse.” Resource depletion, which no one talks about, is another issue we all must be aware of. We live on a finite planet.
The pandemic is not going away anytime soon. If growing your own food is not on your To Do list, I’d reconsider.