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The problem with locavores

Virginia Postrel on Locavores and Michael Pollan - WSJ.com:
This cornucopia of choice and convenience is a tribute to logistical ingenuity and gains from trade, the very progress the local-food movement is sworn to overturn. For those of us blessed with a Mediterranean climate, giving up imports means higher prices. For everyone else, it means a far more limited diet. New Yorkers sometimes complain about farmers' markets that seem to sell only varieties of apples. Were they expecting locally grown oranges and mangoes? Coffee and spices from the plantations of East Hampton?

The local-food movement's ideological parochialism would be dangerous if it were somehow enacted into law. But as persuasion, it tends to focus on the positive: the delights of local peaches and fresh cider, not the imagined evils of Chilean blueberries and prepeeled baby carrots. In this regard, it resembles the English Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. William Morris, who is remembered today more for his wallpaper and book designs than for hjs social theories, didn't manage to overturn the industrial revolution. But he and his allies left a legacy of beautiful things. Pleasure is persuasive.

This is pretty much how I feel about the whole locavore thing. I like the idea of encouraging people to eat locally produced food, but putting social pressure on them to do so is just obnoxious. Trying to put laws in effect to compel it on any scale (or subsidize it, for that matter) is evil. RTWT.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 26th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Locavores sound like either unusually forthright realtors (we're devouring the place!) or some form of undead psychiatrist (the job lets them find prey that won't be missed).

Cultures are best preserved in a Petri dish.
Sep. 26th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Close but no cigar. I regard hardcore locavores as just another species of annoying neobarbarian. You know, those people who think the groceries magically appear in the stores all shrink-wrapped and ready to go.
Sep. 27th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
My family just slaughtered our own chickens two weekends ago and I'm really into the localvore movement. Make of that what you will. :P

Sep. 27th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Obviously you don't fit into that pigeonhole. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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