Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Local Food and Criticism

This article addresses and refutes the idea of local food being "elite." As with many articles on the internet today, there is healthy dialogue in the comments extending and arguing the author's points. While I am glad to read a piece that tackles the charge of local food elitism, I question her assertion "that the accusation that local food is elitist is actually a product of the industrial food infrastructure - that is, the requirements of an industrial food system, the presumption that the basic structure of food production should be industrialized is what makes the price of good food higher."

Will stew on this.


  1. The argument of "elitism" is nothing new to me; as a vegan, I often hear that veganism is "elitist" and inaccessible for the majority of the population. Of course, having lived on very little money in the couple years that I've been vegan proves that whoever is crying "elitism" doesn't really know the meaning of the word. It's strange that awareness and curiosity about the origin and content of food is labeled as "elitist." If anything, it is elitist and narcissistic to expect ANY type of food to be available in and out of season, and far out of the growing zone. It is short-sighted and elitist to consume so much meat, which in any other time than the present has been known as a luxury because of the resources that are required to raise cattle. And because many people focus only on the immediately visible costs--the price of a hamburger v. the price of a squash at market--and not on the costs of health problems associated with the present food system, the cost of the environmental damage, the cost to people and communities...... NOT considering those is elite.

    This topic also has a lot to do with choice. The very people who claim that being vegan or a locavore (and especially both) is "elite" are the same ones spending money on entertainment, new clothes, new THINGS. Because they cannot fathom making an economic choice that dedicates a large(r) portion of their income to food and sustainability--they denounce those who do. It's an empty-name calling that is counter-productive.

  2. Here is a link to a blog that I've been following for a while. The author follows a strict $100 monthly budget for food purchases and is vegan AND eats a lot of raw food. If this is what it takes to eat as well (and plentifully!) as she does....then anyone willing to make the choice and commitment can do it.