Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Agriculture goes Local

In today's New York Times: an article about big corporations and large-scale farms finding a way to claim that their products -- such as Lay's potato chips -- are "local." The logic seems to be that all crops have to grow somewhere. So they are local -- like "it's five o'clock somewhere."

If tomatoes are canned near the field where they grew, does that make them locally grown? Soon it will mean that. It's the same process that has altered the original meaning of "organic." There may be some good in it. Also a lot of bad.

“You know the locavore phenomenon is having an impact when the corporations begin co-opting it,” is a convincing statement at the end of the article. And:
“The ingenuity of the food manufacturers and marketers never ceases to amaze me,” said Michael Pollan, the author of In Defense of Food and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. “They can turn any critique into a new way to sell food. You’ve got to hand it to them.”
See: When ‘Local’ Makes It Big by Kim Severson. Photo: cherries at the La Jolla farmers' market.

1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

If tomatoes are grown in Florida and sent to Mexico for packing, does that make them local?

I'm glad the food companies are getting jitterey. I just wish it didn't make things so darn confusing!!!

I've bought veggies at the local farm stand only to discover they were shipped in from who knows where!