Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is Local Food Better?

In the midst of the current hysteria about "local food," this is a thoughtful and engaging article about the concept, and what it means to us.

"What's "Local"?

But what exactly is "local food" in the first place? How local is local?

One problem with trying to determine whether local food is greener is that there's no universally accepted definition of local food. Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, authors of The 100-Mile Diet, write that they chose this boundary for their experiment in eating locally because "a 100-mile radius is large enough to reach beyond a big city and small enough to feel truly local. And it rolls off the tongue more easily than the ‘160-kilometer diet.'" Sage Van Wing, who coined the term "locavore" with a friend when she was living in Marin County, California, was inspired to eat local after reading Coming Home to Eat, a chronicle of author Gary Paul Nabhan's own year-long effort to eat only foods grown within 250 miles of his Northern Arizona home. She figured that if Nabhan could accomplish that in the desert, she could do even better in the year-round agricultural cornucopia that is Northern California, so she decided to limit herself to food from within 100 miles."

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