Sunday, November 1, 2009
When Worlds Collide
If you've read my blog for any length of time or talked to me in person, you know that I'm a big proponent of eating locally, going to the farmer's market & of course, growing my own veggies.
I was moved by Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a veritable love letter to eating locally. It's well written, informative and makes you feel really good for eating locally grown green beans. (It's a tad bit elitist I think actually, but I still loved it) I've considered writing love letters to the ever brainy foodie, Michael Pollan. We've been doing the farmer's market thing for a number of years now and last year experimented with a CSA.
On another front, I LOVED the book, Freakonomics and cannot wait to read the next Installment of this, Super Freakonomics. Economics made sexy and so very entertaining! (Who doesn't want to know the hidden side of everything!?!?!)
So imagine my absolute HORROR when I found out the Freakonomics guys have a blog (Well actually I was quite thrilled to find out they have a blog) but that they have a whole host of articles on why eating locally isn't the environmental cure all, community builder that we all hope it is.
Do We Really Need a Few Billion Locavores?
Are Farmer's Markets That Good For Us?
Is Locavorism for Rich People Only?
They certainly challenge conventional wisdom when it comes to eating locally. I found the columns fascinating. Is local eating just a feel good theory? Well as with anything, you'll have to come to your own conclusions on that.
After reading and digesting the articles I've come to my own personal conclusions:
1) So what if part of going to the Farmer's Market is a feel good activity. I actually like to feel good. My girl likes going, I sometimes see people I know and have gone with my neighbors.
2) My favorite kind of eating locally is of course, from my own garden, which I will continue to cultivate, hopefully, until I die.
3) The food IS really fresh at the Farmer's Market (I also live near Wegmans who does a bang up job with local produce and fresh produce so yeah, I could skip it.)
4) Part of eating locally for me, is supporting my local economy. It's just important to me. Yes, if we ALL, ONLY bought local things then perhaps our current system would suffer but that isn't going to happen. I also love going to Target.
5) Prices are a tad cheaper. Nothing earth shaking here folks.
6) I'm a food elitist. Sheepishly, I'll admit it. I don't think it harms anything, but possibly going to a separate dairy is a little much. (And sometimes a pain in the butt so then we don't go) I like the dairy and the glass bottles and think the milk is great so I'll probably still go sometimes. But yeah, I should get over it a little.
7) People have to do the best they can with what they have. You may not have the time to go to the market on a weekly basis. Go to your grocery store and buy the best food you can afford. Don't let the localvores get you down!