The Locavore Movement – Op/Ed


Nevaeh Lopez, Social Media Manager/Podcast Editor

The locavore movement encourages the consumption of local products in communities instead of buying and shipping foods from miles away. One of the movement’s main goals is to increase the quality of food consumption, improve our health and create an impact. I personally agree with the idea of a locavore movement. I like how many small businesses have been popping up. I love the idea of people benefiting from their own hard work, rather than big corporations benefiting from others’ hard work. So, shopping locally has always been something I appreciated. Whether you’re part of the locavore movement in order to support the community or to support your health, you are still doing it for a positive reason. Because of this, I do agree with the movement. However, at the same time, eating locally may not be accessible to everyone, so no one should feel bad if they cannot be involved in the movement. They shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t want to be either, because it is a personal choice, and it will not negatively affect others. 

In the document entitled Maiser, Jennifer. “10 Reasons to Eat Local Food,” the blog lists ten ways that eating locally can be positive. Each reason is stated, and then supported with explanations that really help the reader understand the reasoning behind each. The author begins with how eating locally benefits others by stating, “Eating local means more for the local economy. According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.” Like I previously stated, it is better to support local businesses and people in your community because these are the people working the hardest. The document then goes on to claim that “eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic. In a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic.” You will know exactly where your food is coming from, instead of just wondering how long the journey was from potentially the farm to the grocery store. This means taking “farm to table” seriously. Along with that, you experience fresher food. Later in her argument, Maiser states that “locally grown produce is fresher. While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce that you purchase at your local farmer’s market has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value which declines with time. Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.” and “local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket. Supermarkets are interested in selling ‘Name brand’ fruit: such as romaine lettuce, red delicious apples and russet potatoes. Local producers often play with their crops from year to year, trying out little gem lettuce, senshu apples, and chieftain potatoes.” Overall, this source clearly explains why each reason is valid, and I think that is extremely important when considering why the locavore movement should be supported across the United States. 

In the document Gogoi, Pallavi. “The Rise of the ‘Locavore’: How the Strengthening Local Food Movement in Towns Across the U.S. Is Reshaping Farms and Food Retailing,” readers learn about how much the locavore movement benefits local economies in more detail. Gogoi defines the locavore movement as one that “is gradually reshaping the business of growing and supplying food to Americans. The local food movement has already accomplished something that almost no one would have thought possible a few years back: a revival of small farms. After declining for more than a century, the number of small farms has increased 20% in the past six years, to 1.2 million, according to the Agriculture Dept.” In this particular quote, the audience learns that small farms as well as small businesses suffered due to the rise of large corporations. However, the rise in the locavore movement has reversed that suffrage. Later on in his argument, Gogoi asserts that “small farmers will be able to get up to 75% of their organic certification costs reimbursed, and some of them can obtain crop insurance. There’s money for research into organic foods, and to promote farmers’ markets. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said the bill ‘invests in the health and nutrition of American children . . . by expanding their access to farmer’s markets and organic produce.’” This quote shows that farmers are finally benefiting from all of their hard work, which is what they have been working for in the first place. 

The document Roberts, Paul, “The End of Food,” the author expands on the idea of the world beginning to join the locavore movement. He states, “While locavorism sounds superb in theory, it is proving quite difficult in practice. To begin with, there are dozens of different definitions as to what local is, with some advocates arguing for political boundaries (as in Texas-grown, for example), others using quasi-geographic terms like food sheds, and still others laying out somewhat arbitrarily drawn food.” Despite people being interested in the movement, Roberts claims, it is not easily accessible to everyone. He makes the case that “The larger problem is that although decentralized food systems function well in decentralized societies—like the United States was a century ago, or like many developing nations still are—they’re a poor fit in modern urbanized societies. The same economic forces that helped food production become centralized and regionalized did the same thing to our population: in the United States, 80 percent of us live in large, densely populated urban areas, usually on the coast, and typically hundreds of miles, often thousands of miles, from the major centers of food production.” This document shows that we need to work harder to make shopping locally accessible for everyone. 

Ultimately, locavorism isn’t for everyone, but it can be if we make it more accessible. Not everyone has to physically support the program. However, if more people get on board, it will prove beneficial to farmers and others across the nation. I believe that the locavore movement helps people by giving them access to fresher food on a daily basis. It also benefits the small businesses who sell fresh produce but are normally hurt by large corporations. Overall, the locavore movement should be supported in the United States and around the world and will pave the way for a more sustainable future for generations to come.