Thursday, April 26, 2007

Local Food: Second Thoughts

On my post yesterday about the crazy side of local food. Yes, as a friend reminded me, in California local produce grows all year around, so the idea of eating locally makes some sense. Further, the California proponents are often not possessed fanatics: they see that flour may need to grow in, say, the midwest. I've heard, for example, that at Google one of the staff restaurants serves only locally grown food -- and that it's good. I'm not talking about the projects to encourage children to grow vegetables in the school yard, either. That's not what I mean.

I mean the craziest of all: the local food nuts living in New York apartments. The sanest thing about them is they haven't started eating the rats that live in the local Taco Bell (and inspired the clean-up campaign for New York's restaurants -- but I digress).

The most egregious local food pose I've heard of is the couple engaged in a year "eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost ...); using no paper [including not using toilet paper]; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation [including elevators]." The journalist writing up this project was mostly impressed by the odor of their little apartment.

Why do such a project? Well, the husband of the couple: "needed a new book project and the No Impact year was the only one of four possibilities his agent thought would sell." I read about this in the NYTimes Magazine of March 22, 2007: The Year Without Toilet Paper (gated).

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