There’s another overarching reason why local food sources are desirable, if not absolutely necessary: namely, that they’ll remain available in the event of natural or man-made disasters in other parts of the country or the world. As pollution and biohazards spread throughout the world, local food sources are going to become even more important to the ability of communities to sustain themselves and survive the periodic disruptions in the supply-chain in the face of disaster.
Even in suburban settings, it’s possible to grow more than enough food to sustain the average family. It’s just a skill that’s almost died out over the last 50 years. Heck, people don’t cook much. It’s hard to convince them that this is worth the effort, at least until they taste the difference between homegrown vegetables and the cardboard taste of produce that was picked green and artificially ripened—much less genetically engineered.
A case could also be made that industrial agriculture techniques and modern food processing have contributed to the rise in chronic auto-immune diseases and allergies – but that’s another rant.
I’ll bet his meat doesn’t come on styrofoam trays either. Each time I clear out the remains of my week’s purchases I wonder what happens to all these trays in the landfills, not to mention the styrofoam that comes as packing in other things. Maybe the world would be healthier if we did run out of oil.
One wonders why it is somehow more sustainable to have 1000 people drive ten or 100 miles to pick up a chicken than it is to have one truck deliver said chicken to a central location, where people can drive a shorter distance to get it. I’m all for sustainable farming, organic food, and an end to monoculture, but in the grand scheme of things, where society is paying for the unseen costs of factory farming, it seems very cockeyed to leave out the energy expended by non-local customers buying “local” food.
MARY E. TYLER
I’m a vegan who staunchly supports animal liberation. This piece alienated me right out of renewing my subscription. I’m using the money to subscribe to Herbivore instead.
May I propose that you take note of the very significant errors in this piece by David G. Victor, identified by Milton Maciel, a Brazilian sugar cane grower and consultant. His commentary was posted on the EnergyResources blog.
Mr. Maciel’s English is not as good as the ill-informed writing from Mr. Victor, but his information is much better. Frankly, I think you should run it alongside Mr. Victor’s piece. Or you may want to invite Mr. Maciel to write a response and, if I may suggest, your readers would probably appreciate Mr. Maciel’s insights into the success of organic sugar cane production in Brazil.
Mr. Victor’s piece is not without some merit, but overall it seriously misinforms your readers.