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Charlie Townsend - Biking for food - Sponsored Organization

Charlie Townsend - Biking for Food - Sponsored Organization

Charlie Townsend - Biking for Food - Sponsored Organization (Click on picutre to view Charlie's blog)

Our food system has developed to a point where anything you want is available at any time of the year.  To accomplish this our food must travel thousands of miles across our vast country (and around the world).  To say this is a caloric-net-loss is an understatement.  To better understand the distance our food travels consider that the average meal in America travels 1500 miles before it reaches your dinner table.  Thats comparable to the distance from our nation's capital to Denver.  In car terms, if you get an average of 300 miles per tank of gas, that's five tanks.  But what does this mean in caloric terms?

It  was this question, along with the desire for the next great adventure, that prompted me to take a bike trip.  I intended to ride my bike from coast to coast, eating locally sourced food along the way in order to shed light on the deficiencies of two of our nation's most important systems: our food system and our transportation system.  By burning calories instead of gasoline I hopped to learn a bit more about these systems, as well as a bit about myself.  What I found out was that the illusion of abundance propagated by our supermarkets is a far cry from the reality of food scarcity that a vast majority of our nation faces.  The term "food desert" is one that I discovered applied to many of the communities I traveled through.  A farming community in, for example, Nebraska where the primary product is corn, yet a family in need of assistance has to travel upward of 50 miles to the nearest food bank to get a box of corn flakes.  

Another valuable term I learned during my ride was "foodshed."  Pertaining to the distance traveled by food before reaching it's end consumer, it became apparent to me that a foodshed is similar in distance to the distance one can travel in a day by bike.  It is my hope to investigate the options available within my foodshed by transporting my food, via bike, from farm to table.  Of course, for my health and well being, this experiment will include subsidization from farmers markets and local groceries.

Why Pacific Outdoor Equipment is a company that reflects your focus:

My interest in local foods and human-powered transport stems from a belief that we must cherish our natural environment and all that it offers.  I believe that we should seek to have as little impact on our natural world as possible.  From these beliefs I have developed an appreciation for quality and durability.  It is this appreciation that led me to Pacific Outdoor Equipment.  Their philosophy that "good gear = less waste" is consistent with a favorite saying of mine: "only a rich man can afford to buy cheep tools."  

My experience riding cross-country was greatly enhanced by my relationship with POE.  The quality of their equipment is only surpassed by their customer service and I look forward to a long relationship riding with the best gear available. 

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