Tom MacMillan gets a taste of the argument against consuming only locally grown food.
The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet
Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu Public Affairs: 2012. 304 pp. $26.99/£18.99
For all the fanfare about local food, you might think that we eat a lot of it. Yet in the United Kingdom and North America, almost everything people eat comes from far away, shipped from distribution centres and delivered by truck. Only a tiny fraction takes a short cut. So, although about one-third of UK shoppers say that they buy local food, the market share is nearer 2–3%.
In The Locavore's Dilemma, geographer Pierre Desrochers and economist Hiroko Shimizu suggest that even that is too much. They say that it is ignorant to want shorter supply chains and dangerous to achieve them, whether in the developed or developing worlds. “The road to agricultural, economic and environmental hell,” they argue, is “paved with allegedly fresher and more nutritious local meals”. With this spirited polemic they want to nip the 'locavore' trend in the bud.