Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Myth of the Rabid Locavore

Kerry Trueman posted a really fantastic article on the Huffington Post about eating locally.  In it, she addresses an extremely mis-informative, short sighted, horribly sourced, and thoroughly inaccurate article Stephen Budiansky wrote for the New York Times.  In his article, Stephen explains why eating local is actually bad (huh, WHAT?). 

In her retort, Trueman points out some of the facts Budiansky managed to completed ignore:

"But energy efficiency is only one small part of the equation when you add up the reasons to buy local. Other factors include: flavor and nutrition; support for more ecological farming practices; reduction of excess packaging; avoidance of pesticides and other toxins; more humane treatment of livestock and workers; preservation of local farmland; spending one's dollars closer to home; the farmers' market as community center, and so on."

"Again with the energy usage! Geez. As if that were our big beef with fertilizers and chemicals. What about soil erosion, pollution, loss of biodiversity, the rise of superweeds and antibiotic-resistant infections, the dead zones in our oceans and rivers, exposure to contaminants, and all the other environmentally disastrous consequences of 'conventional' farming?"

She also points out that some of Budiansky's "reasons" apply to everyone, regardless of who or where you buy your food from - "the miles we drive to do our grocery shopping and the energy it takes to run our fridges, dishwashers, stoves, etc." ; the amount of edible food discarded by people within the U.S.

I strongly urge you to read both articles.  The pull to "eat local" is rooted in a deep care for the environment, the local economy, and personal health.  These things are no longer a joke, but necessary input when deciding what to buy and who to buy it from.  Do the research, get the facts, and revolt.

Vote your fork.  Your future depends on it.

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