Q. So do you see any value to supporting a local food system?
A. Good local food will always find a seasonal market. We don’t need a local food movement for that. The problem I have with local food activists is that they seem to want to go beyond what’s reasonable in terms of local food. They want to force school boards, hospitals, prisons, government bureaucracies, military bases, and universities to buy more expensive, and often lower-quality, food, just because it’s local. We’re in the business of educating students, not feeding them local food. It should not be the university’s role to keep inefficient local food producers in business."
from a great interview with Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, authors of The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000 Mile Diet. (the whole thing is here)
I have to say that I agree with what they’re saying. Local food is good, but mostly impractical, especially on a commercial level. Let’s face it, we’re not getting a lot of good mixed greens in Minnesota during the winter, and if we are the quality is spotty and I can’t even imagine the price per pound; but people want their salads year round and restaurants need to make their money, so chefs might need to source products from thousands of miles away.
Hang on a second, Chris. What about farm-to-table places like Corner Table and Spoonriver?
You got a point there. These places do a great job of the farm-to-table/local thing, but it can’t be easy. Having worked at Corner Table (briefly), I got to see the quality and price of product fluctuate pretty rapidly. Plus, there’s not a whole lot of local seafood around here (at least stuff that’s safe to eat) It’s not easy, but it can be done.
So yeah, I like the local thing and farmer’s markets are fun, but to feed everyone in America (and make a buck or two) we can’t rely on the local system.
(Source: Boing Boing)