Agricultural Lives and Landscapes

Choose a recipe with at least 10 different ingredients
ii. Travel to the closest or most convenient grocery store and record (bring a notebook or use your phone) the origin of each recipe ingredient (be as specific as possible…firstly look for the city and if not listed, then search for the province or state, or record the country if that is the only location mentioned). You are not required to purchase any of these food items. HINT: If you pick up an ingredient that does not specify a location, then perhaps try and find the same ingredient elsewhere in the store. For example, if your recipe calls for cheddar cheese, and you pick up a bar of “Cracker Barrel Cheese” which typically will not specify a definitive location, go to the speciality section of the cheese store to look for an alternate package of cheddar cheese.

Then, provide full sentence answers to the following:

1. Fill in the table on the template listing the Ingredient, Origin, Food Kilometres** (kms to grocery store) and tally the Total Food Kilometres. Leave the “Local Field Source” and “Local Food Kilometres” columns empty. (4 marks) Hint: **Use Google Maps or Google Earth to calculate the rough distance the ingredient has travelled from its origin to the grocery store you choose (you will need to determine the grocery store’s address). If the origin of the food item is not specific, you can use the ‘geographic centre’ of the food’s origin as the location from which to calculate a rough distance. For example, if you choose a product at Valu-Mart in Uptown Waterloo and the label says the product was packaged in “Vancouver” (but with no specific address), simply calculate the straight-line distance from the geographic centre of Vancouver to Valu-mart to determine the food kilometers roughly travelled. Google Maps/Earth both have scales you can use to calculate distance as well.

2. Now determine if you can shorten the total food kilometres, to create this food dish. Find all the closest local providers for each ingredient in your food list (if available) by following the sequence below:
i. Go to the Waterloo Region Food Link’s Local Food Map online at and click the “Find Local Food” tab found along the top of the webpage
ii. Enter each ingredient separately into the search box and select “Go” HINT: Try being a little less literal with certain ingredients if they do not return a positive search hit. For instance, if you have parsley or basil in your recipe, try searching “herbs” or “spices”. If you had blue cheese in your recipe, try searching “cheese”. Instead of cherry tomatoes, search for “tomatoes”.
iii. Enter the grocery store location into the “Narrow your search” box and customize your results further by placing a checkmark in the “Farm”, “CSA” and “Farmers’ Market Vendor” fields only in the “Narrow your Results” box (uncheck all others) and then press ENTER. This should narrow your results to only farms that grow and/or sell these ingredients in the Waterloo Region, including the field to fork distance to the grocery store supplying your recipe ingredients.
iv. Return to your table from question #1 and record the closest “local field sources” by listing the actual farm (if not available transfer the “Food Kilometers” column to the “Local Food Kilometers” column) for each ingredient, and their distance in kms to the grocery store “local food kilometers” and tally the total new food kilometers. (6 marks) HINT: If the closest farm indicates “closed” continue to use this closest farm as it simply means that the farm is closed for the season.

3. What ended up being your total food kilometers after sourcing out local ingredients using the Waterloo Region local food map? Since your food kilometers most likely decreased, the question then becomes to speculate, where applicable, as to why certain ingredient(s) could not be purchased locally? Hint: among obvious factors, refer to your chapter 8 reading for further information to help you explore this question. What factors could influence the availability of the food in your recipe? (5 marks)

4. Thinking about the geography of food production, does it really matter if the food you eat is produced locally? State 2 advantages and 2 limitations to a move toward buying only food of local origin rather than food from the industrial food system. DO NOT just GOOGLE the answer to these questions. (4 marks)


Agricultural Lives and Landscapes