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Old 07-02-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
Steve Liberati
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Buying Local

A new book is out called The Locaver's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000 mile Diet argues the "buy local" movement is misguided and a well meaning marketing fad among the world's most privileged consumers.

I tend to agree and think the whole "buy local" is so overrated…..

Why would I buy a stalk of corn for $7 from my local farmer when I can go to Wegman's and buy a stalk for $3 grown in Cali, assuming the taste is the same?

"A dogmatic approach is rarely a good idea, and questions about where food should be grown and why are indeed complex. But does that mean things [our current food system] are great the way they are?”

http://grist.org/locavore/local-hate...s-do-more-harm (work family safe)
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:30 AM   #2
Brian Androsian
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Re: Buying Local

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Originally Posted by Steve Liberati View Post
Why would I buy a stalk of corn for $7 from my local farmer when I can go to Wegman's and buy a stalk for $3 grown in Cali, assuming the taste is the same?
Cause food doesn't naturally stay fresh for weeks after being picked. Buying local USUALLY means it was picked more recently and is fresher. I trust a tomato sold locally in season much more than I trust a tomato sold mid winter that has traveled from the other side of the country.
Also, if you're talking about farmers markets, most of them are people trying to make a living. I'd rather suck it up and spend a couple extra dollars and support someone trying to do something good than give it to a corporation making millions.

If someone doesn't want to buy local, then don't. But trying to argue against it seems kind of ridiculous to me.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:43 AM   #3
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Buying Local

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Cause food doesn't naturally stay fresh for weeks after being picked. Buying local USUALLY means it was picked more recently and is fresher. I trust a tomato sold locally in season much more than I trust a tomato sold mid winter that has traveled from the other side of the country.
This, and also the produce will not be picked when it is fully ripe, and may not have the best nutrient profile because of this. Picking ripe produce and attempting to ship 10000 miles = bad produce
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #4
Joey Shishineh
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Re: Buying Local

Have you ever picked strawberries and compared the taste to what you buy at Wegman's? it is about $2/pint to pick which is not only cheaper than the store, the taste is not even comparable. Have you ever had home grown zucchini, cherry tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, any vegetables? Once you eat home grown or 'locally grown' fruit and veggies, you will never argue this statement again. When you try these fruits and veggies, it is like you are eating them for the first time. I would imagine the nutrients are much greater in the locally grown too.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
Chris Mason
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Re: Buying Local

Take that mentality to a global scale and you now have the recipe for the downfall of America. We all thought the same, why not buy from Wal-Mart and other stores that carried goods made in China as they are way less expensive and just as good? Fast forward 40 years and China now owns a huge chunk of our debt and we have a huge diminishment of the middle class because manufacturing is only a shadow of what it once was.

If possible, I would prefer to buy local to support people in my community. If we only think about buying the cheapest we are not always serving ourselves.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:39 AM   #6
David Allen Rogers
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Re: Buying Local

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Originally Posted by Steve Liberati View Post
Why would I buy a stalk of corn for $7 from my local farmer when I can go to Wegman's and buy a stalk for $3 grown in Cali, assuming the taste is the same?
Wow! Hard to believe someone from NJ would ever say this!

One of the greatest things about living here is our produce. I don't even bother to eat fresh corn that is not grown here. Blueberries and strawberries grown in NJ are a completely different experience than berries imported into the state. Part of this is just the freshness aspect but part of it is something special about the soil, climate, etc. for certain crops.

I also do not understand the price comparison you are making. It is typically the other way around. I have been buying NJ blueberries this summer for $2.50 a pint and they are fantastic. Out of season, your choice at Wegman's will be $5 for a half pint of Chilean blueberries that are garbage. Corn and other fresh produce are likewise very cheap, particularly from road-side stands or farmers markets. When you buy "local" from a place like Wegman's, they are probably cranking up the price.

Seriously, stop by a road-side produce stand and buy some Jersey corn or go to a berry farm and buy some blueberries that were just picked off the bushes (or pick them yourself). Find a farmers market and go wild. The taste and price will not be comparable to anything you will ever find at Wegman's.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Buying Local

In addition to all the points already raised, which are certainly valid... there is also the environmental cost of transporting produce over long distances. Think about the resources used to truck goods cross country (or fly/ship them from outside the country) just to transport, the fact that these have to be carried in refrigerated trucks which are more resource intensive, and the resulting pollutants emitted in transporting.

You may be paying $3 for an equally filling/caloric ear of corn, but at the cost of not supporting local/family business (not really knowing who/what you are supporting most of the time); of greater environmental impact; of increased waste (when you mass produce goods that deteriorate, you also usually create mass waste); of humane treatment of employees and living wage; and of product quality control... among other things I can't think of at the moment.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
Steve Liberati
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Re: Buying Local

Okay I admit I deserved to get jumped on for my statement above about buying something just based on price which I never do in practice. I try to buy locally when possible and have no problem paying extra for a better quality product. I was more pointing out the fact that buying local can come with a greater price tag that I'm not always willing to pay extra for.

I do enjoy reading opposing views that challenge mine which is the reason I mentioned this book, although from what I read in the first few chapters, the authors argument is very weak. He subscribes to this "all or nothing" mentality. Like the people who think Paleo people ONLY eat meat therefore it's not "sustainable." Makes no sense.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Buying Local

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Originally Posted by Steve Liberati View Post
Okay I admit I deserved to get jumped on for my statement above about buying something just based on price which I never do in practice. I try to buy locally when possible and have no problem paying extra for a better quality product. I was more pointing out the fact that buying local can come with a greater price tag that I'm not always willing to pay extra for.
For non-zealots who live in temperate climates, it's really a tradeoff. Unless I'm willing to limit myself to potatoes and onions for 5 months out of the year, I'm going to be eating some non-local produce. (Although home preserving can stretch the seasons for those with gardens.) Unless I'm willing to drop avocado, mango, pineapple, and all forms of citrus, I'm going to be eating some non-local produce.

On the other hand, I don't need Chilean apples in July when I can have Washington cherries instead. Having a preference for local foods means looking at local substitutes, and planning the menu around local options as much as possible.

Katherine
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
Greg Pack
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Re: Buying Local

If you are paying a premium I would just ensure that what you are buying is indeed locally grown. I knew a guy that ran a vegetable stand in front of a large garden. Many people stopped to get the fresh produce. Although some things came out of the garden, the vast majority of his produce came from wholesalers, just like the regional grocery chains.
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