by Jen Maiser
Amy Stewart's commentary on NPR's All Things Considered this week was a topic of conversation among ELC blog authors this week. While Ms. Stewart believes that we should all "shut up and eat," I hardly think that many of us will be following her directive anytime soon. Michael Pollan often speaks about the magic of voting with our forks. Unlike major, huge, unsurmountable issues that our world faces, food issues are something that we all decide on many times a day. I personally choose to put my hard-earned money in the hands of local farmers and local cheesemakers and local artisans over international conglomerates and mega-corporations.
Ms. Stewart suggests that instead of focusing on where our food comes from, we should try taking public transportation or turning down the thermostat. Most of us who are conscious enough to focus on where our food comes from don't turn off that consciousness when it comes to these sort of things -- we tend to tread lightly on the earth in many ways.
While I suspect that Ms. Stewart was trying to be sensationalist and contrarian about some of the pedantic, minutia-oriented conversations that can occur around food (and that many of us tire of at some point), I don't think that an overarching declaration against eating local is the answer.
Below, you'll find some opinions from other ELC authors around the nation. Check them out -- I think they're fantastic.
from Liz (Maine):
No doubt local eating is old news where you live in California, the land of plenty. But it is an absolute triumph that the rest of America is finally paying attention to what goes on its dinner plate. Please don't begrudge us Mainers or Michiganders or Minnesotans for finally catching on to what you savvy Californians have known all along: that fresher foods taste better. What's more is that we're finding we can produce our food just as well, if not better than your fine state, cutting out the factory farms, middlemen, and days of travel on the way.
I don't often dole out advice, Amy, but it seems like you need to either find some non-foodie friends or start talking up some new cause. If it goes well, the rest of us should be buzzing about it in 2013. Until then, I will continue to celebrate the foods of my state with my friends and family. Don't worry, I'll make sure not to invite you to the dinner party.