Is the Local Food Movement Misguided?

Eating local is in vogue, as the environmental impacts of industrialized agriculture surface. But is eating local really the right response? One author says maybe not.

Forbes talks with author James McWilliams about his new book challenging the wisdom of the local food movement.

"Forbes: What is wrong and right about locavores striving to fill their diet with local sources of food?

James McWilliams: There are a lot of things right with this. Encouraging us to ask where our food comes from and how it's produced; turning the farmers market into a civic space to bring the community together; trying to preserve agricultural space around cities.

At the same time, in the 21st century, we face a genuine agricultural dilemma, and that is to produce more healthy food on less land with fewer resources. I see the locavore response just as one response, and in the grand scheme of things it's a fairly small response. When we look at how a crop is grown or how a certain food is produced, transportation is really a small amount of energy used to produce that particular food. It's about 10%, according to several studies. What that means is the energy sink is elsewhere, how that particular crop is produced."

Full Story: The Problem With 'Eat Local'

Comments

Comments

So, When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?

The disconnect between McWilliams' stated positions and the Forbes' article title and subtitle couldn't be more striking. I guess the next 'best' alternative to killing the messenger is mis-billing the message...

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95