Friday, August 05, 2022

Farmer’s Market Locavores

I am always a bit amused when people tell me they are a "locavore."

They say use this term without irony. I am supposed to applaud, but it is a bit hard when their clothes were made in Bangladesh from cotton grown in Mali and shipped to them through the Straights of Malaysia on Saudi crude. 

Their car or truck was almost certainly made 3,000 miles away, and runs on Canadian oil. They text on a phone designed in San Francisco and made in China, which is powered by coal or fracked natural gas sent 1,000 miles by pipe before it is converted to electricity sent 300 miles more by wire. 


What does that mean? Is there such as thing as "locavore" olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, rice, nuts, and garbanzo beans? 

Not most places! In fact, nowhere. 

When someone tells you they are a "locavore" all they are really telling you is that they occasionally buy produce at a farmer's market that was started in plastic pots made in Mexico, and fertilized with phosphate from Florida, and nitrogen from Alabama. That produce was too often picked by labor that came from 5,000 miles away, before it was packed in plastic and cardboard that came 800 miles, and was trucked 200 miles more to market. 

I am all for fresh produce and supporting local farmers. But let's not get too high-hat and call ourselves "locavores" when that term doesn't mean very much.


Edze said...

"locavore" is a new one for me. My pet peeve is the "flexitarian"; yes, I do eat meat but only sometimes... said...

It's fairly easy to eat local where I live, still several farms nearby. My cousin farms organically. Veg growers can't import produce and label it as being produced on their own farm. Certs and regs are strict here. I have access to local fish and shellfish (yep aquaculture here is thriving) all things dairy including cattle and bison meat, there are local chicken meat producers and eggs are everywhere. I can even get goat meat, goat milk and cheese. Honey, apples and most stone fruits, mushrooms...It's a very long list, I'm lucky. Anything cannabis related, too. I don't call myself a 'locavore' because I'm not pretentious and I don't go in for 'exotic' fruit/veg, anyway. It's great that the only things I can't source for my diet in under 50 miles are grains and oils/olives, citrus. I see nothing wrong with supporting local farms (I've worked on a few) and cutting down on shipping wherever possible. Not to mention much less time spent in grocery stores, esp in summer.

Jennifer said...

No beef with that one :-)
Cutting back on GHG emitting meats is good.