I'm a big fan of local eating. I love the idea that my food was grown/raised/produced if not in my town, at least in my state, and that my dollars are nourishing my neighbors. And I like transparency—often a perk of local eating. But I have to admit that the hype around the term "local" (see the quote from today's NY Times below, for starters) and the local-foods movement one-solution-fits-all mentality turns me off.
"Frito-Lay is one of several big companies that, along with some large-scale farming concerns, are embracing a broad interpretation of what eating locally means. This mission creep has the original locavores choking on their yerba mate. But food executives who measure marketing budgets in the millions say they are mining the concept because consumers care more than ever about where their food comes from."
In a press release issued in response to the NYTimes article, Rich Sanders of Sustainable Table says: "Too many [businesses] see this as a marketing opportunity, as opposed to an opportunity to do the right thing. For too many food giants, Green is the new Gold.” It's not too difficult to see through the greenwashing here, but I think this begs the question: What does "local food" really mean? Where do we draw the line?
Do you eat local? What defines "local" for you? How important is it, compared with other factors? Post your thoughts below.