Central Valley By Air

08Aug13

I have a fascination with California’s Central Valley. It is the large area in the middle of the state that produces much of the nation’s produce, almost 10% of America’s agricultural output. It stretches around 50 miles wide and 450 miles north to south, covering approximately 22,500 square miles. Any natural rainfall that is allowed to reach the coast flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys to the delta, which leads to San Francisco Bay.

Whenever I driver through it or fly over it I can’t help but stare out at the landscape, at the combination of natural land forms and agricultural land. It is hard to imagine just how much land has been taken over by us and turned into industrial food producing landscape. Today, all of the land, those 22,500 square miles, have to be watered. Imagine turning on your sprinklers and watering that much land.
Michael Pollan has a book called Cooked. In a recent radio interview he stated that we’ve “outsourced our food supply.” We should all think about what that means.
As it was, this editorial was published earlier this year in the New York Times.
Heading North to South from Oakland to Los Angeles.

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