In American society, the environmental movement has gained the attention of many people. One of those movements is the “locavores”. Although some benefits are gained within this movements, there are also several less-examined effects of this movement that should be noted as well. People might think they do less harm to the environment, but they are misguided. They might help out their community but they end up hurting the other nations, they don’t really reduce the gas emitted by transportation and there nutrients in food is a small portion larger.
There are many definitions of locavore, from advocates arguing for political boundaries, to using quasi-geographic terms, but the one we’re talking about is those who purchase their food from a 100-500mile radii(Roberts). Looking at source G, some people might be confused on what a locavore is, thinking that buying any kind of food from a location within a 50-100 mile radii is acceptable. What it really means is that buying food that comes from a 50-100miles radii farm.
Some of their most obvious benefits of being a locavore include eating healthier and tastier foods, consuming fresher, helping out the economy and environment, preventing bio-terrorism and reducing pollution(Maiser). When bought from local farms, the money spent goes back into the local community, which doubles in terms of local economy(Maiser).
This is true, money spent locally does benefit the local economy, but the national economy not so much. All of this economic profits helps out the farmers, reviving small farms and increasing federal funds to local agriculture as stated in Source E. However, source C explains that locavores can end up hurting farmers in other parts of the world where the economy depends on agricultural exportations Some regions in the US cant even farm due to their environmental location, they rely on imports from farmers around the world.
Balancing the combination of national and local communities keeps the US agricultural economy healthy and wholesome. Another thing to consider is the effect on a global scale. For example, in “on my mind”, the smallest shift to local produce in the UK could starve some of the 1.5million bean farmers in Kenya. Shutting down international trade burst both countries involved and doing so even worsened the crises during the 1930’s Great Depression. Clearly, international produce is an important factor. Besides hurting outer nations by not purchasing their foods, locavors fear the feul emitted by transportation.
Locavors fear that by not buying locally, they are harming the environment by forcing long distance transportation and causing fuel consumption. Buying local farm products doesn’t necessarily reduce their carbon footprint. In Maisers web log, it states that the air pollution from transportation outweighs any benefits. This isn’t necessarily true, by looking at the chart in source D, transportation has a relatively small amount of gas emissions compared to production and wholesale/retail. It seems to be less than 25% for every kind of food/drink purchased. It isn’t the distance that food travels, but the efficiency of transportation. Source C describes it measures in ‘apples per gallons” and not just miles traveled. Since locavors buy food that comes directly and quickly from farms, their food tends to have more nutrients in them.
Since local food is picked within 14hours(Maiser), it is tastier, fresher, and more nutritious than other foods picked from around the world.. Even though it has more nutrients, the nutritional difference between local and long-distance food is “marginal”(Source B). Still, one cannot deny the claim that locavores enjoy a tastier healthier foods. Smith and Mackinnon book states local food is harvested at the peak of ripeness, ensuring a fresher more nutritional product.
Even though locavores help out their local community, they don’t help out their national economy. It not only hurts us but every other nation that depends on national food trade. Buying locally doesn’t save that much carbon from being put out into the environment, it’s only a small fraction of the whole system. If many communities started being locavores, it would lead to national disasters on a global scale.