How local is local?
Somewhere between 1200 and 1700 miles! That’s 3 times the distance the Proclaimers would walk and twice the distance if you were to trek from the top of Texas to the bottom. This figure in fact represents the average distance the food on your plate has traveled from where it was produced to its ultimate, final gastronomic conclusion.
So when every 2nd company boasts ‘local’ in their mission statement take it with a grain of salt.
There of course many reasons why companies do this. First and foremost as it should be when it comes to food, taste is of utmost importance. We the consumer want fresh, flavorful and nutritious food and these companies associate (as do we) with local. When the food has come from our local community we know it is only hours away. We also know more than likely it is not part of the corporate, industrial super-agri machine which utilizes fertilizers, GMO’s and pesticides to grow its food stuffs.
We eat every day and want the best for our bodies, but more than that we inherently want to support our communities and our farmers. Rightly or wrongly we believe they are hard working, good, wholesome folk, who deserve our patronage perhaps more than the corporate dinosaurs slowly fattening and poisoning our kids.
Fortunately, the wheel of the food production machine is turning and those with an appreciation for local, organic and sustainable foods are making their voice heard. Organic food production is growing rapidly, farmers markets are up 500% over the last 20 years and awareness of good eating is growing.
Encouragingly a proliferation of food organizations are joining the fold, some like Field to Meal are making it easy by sourcing, packaging and delivering locally. However,while the average territory covered is 1500 miles both internationally and nationally then time should be taken to ensure local…means local.