Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing where your food came from? I bet it would serve even more of a comfort to know the good-hearted farmers that grew the crops you used to cook with. As Americans become more health conscious the next step would be to be globally and locally conscious as well by eating and buying local produce. There are many ‘pros’ to eating local including (but not limited to): potentially saving energy and cutting pollution, being more nutritious and becoming a part of your community. While the aforementioned may have merit, the ‘cons’ of locavore diets are important.
Most Americans are not considering the farmers in Bolivia that farm to work their way out of poverty and depend on being able to export their goods. How about the Yupik Eskimos of Alaska that depend on being able to export salmon? Locovores ignore the idea that the imported food they reject has more of a story than being from far away; this food represents a source of income for people dependent on farming in exaggerated ways. A part of global exports and food is the amount of interdependence the world has for food, but if going local happened worldwide then everyone would suffer in terms of job security.
Outside of hurting the export success of other countries (and ours), eating local ignores the fact that many do not have access to local foods. For people living on and below the poverty line, the priority is not spending more on locally grown food but, obtaining food in general. Only people with extra time and money can afford to seek out local food sources. Most poor people only have access to chain-super markets that do not cater to eating locally. A part of the bigger problem, is the fact that the cheapest and most accessible foods are not locally grown but instead are unhealthy, processed and the oldest of produce. Unless you live near a source of agriculture or have the money to get local foods, it is very difficult to partake in the buy/eat local movement.
There is a reason why Americans are able to eat out of season foods with comfort and ease; because we are interdependent with other countries for food supplies. Buying local not only isolates us from the world, but takes away jobs, hurts the economy and withholds us from enjoying the luxuries of the globalized world such as berries year round or special types of fish not found nearby. It is important, however, to realize that not everyone can afford to ‘go local’ and that it is a privilege that romanticizes the idea of resisting globalization.