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hardware engineer,

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Do you think the local food movement is a fad or here to stay?

I see a large number of eateries and citizens really getting behind the local food movement but am unsure of where it's going. How sincere are people about local farmers, food providers and will it be around 5-10 years from now?

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    Mar 4 2014: Hi Jeff!
    The local food movement may be a fad for some people, and I think for the majority of people, it may be here to stay. I think more people are becoming aware of the value of eating fresh foods, rather than processed foods. With every process (freezing, canning, packaging, etc.) food loses some nutrients.

    I have had vegetable gardens my whole life, and like to grow most of my own food, because I know exactly what goes into the soil, which ends up in the produce, and it is a delightful pleasure to pluck fruits and vegetables off the vine just before eating them. I KNOW it is more healthy.

    I also live in a rural farming community, so those things I do not grow myself can be bought at farm stands directly from the grower when in season. Corn, for example, I buy in bulk for the couple months it is in season, eat a LOT of it at that time, and freeze some for the winter months. It is less expensive than store bought, and healthier.

    If one is aware of seasonal foods, and what is more available at different times of the year, it is not more expensive, as you mention in another comment Jeff. You are lucky to be in an area where fresh, local vegetables and fruits are available year round. Some of us who live in areas that have long cold winters have to be a little more creative:>)
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      Mar 4 2014: It's a pity that many do not think like you Colleen. Degraded as it is, even presently every human presently have enough and right food resources within a radius of 80 kilometers. That's how nature devised it. What we see as food on selves are food like substances, not real food.
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        Mar 9 2014: I think word is spreading Pabitra, and as I said in the previous comment, people are becoming more aware of the value of eating fresh foods. For some of us, it has been a natural way to live all our lives, and I do not perceive it to be a fad at all, but rather, a new awareness for some folks who are now paying attention to how they fuel the body/mind systems

        Interesting you mention that we usually have resources within a certain radius, and that is how nature devised it. There are many very nutritious herbs, fruits and vegetables growing wild in this area, and I'm pretty sure it is true in many areas in our world.....based on what I've observed while traveling to different countries.

        For example...we have blackberries, raspberries, wild grapes, high bush cranberries, fiddlehead ferns (delicious, nutritious, and very costly in the store, and they grow wild on the banks of the river all around here), apples and crabapples, horseradish, asparagus, lovage, red clover, mint, lemon balm, chives, wild onions....I could go on and on, but you get the picture? All of these naturally growing plants in this area are high in nutrients, many have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antibiotic properties (especially the herbs).

        Maybe it's time for folks to notice what is sometimes growing in their/our own back yards:>)
  • Mar 9 2014: The local food movement is here to stay. Because the cost of fossil fuel will continue to rise. When the oil wells dry up we will have to travel to the food, and stay there, instead of the food travelling to us.
  • Mar 6 2014: I fear that it is. I hope that it is not. I was first introduced to it 20 years ago, when I lived in Ithaca, New York, and almost nobody else did it--it wasn't a "movement" then, it was just the way people did things in Ithaca. Best damned farmer's market I ever had the pleasure of shopping at.

    However, the way things work is that there is a good idea. It starts to catch on. It becomes a fad. It becomes overdone and distorted. People react against the distortions and discard the original good idea in the process.
    • Mar 8 2014: Bryan- I think maybe you articulated what I was sort of feeling. The original good idea may get lost when it becomes trendy or the 'thing to do.' Good point. I will just keep growing my vegetable garden and hope for the best!!
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        Mar 9 2014: Hi Jeff-

        I gotta agree with Rodrigo. Most folks just don't realize that it takes tens of thousands of fossil fuel calories - and calories are in fact quantities of fuel - to deliver a 300-calorie chef salad to our plate!

        It was a bad idea to start with - those ingredients coming from 5-6 distant states. Just because that folly has become institutionalized doesn't mean it isn't folly. If anything, that makes it even more insane. 50-100 years from now our present food insanity will be viewed as a quaint historical artifact. 1000 years from now 90% of our roads and highways will be covered with windblown soil and sand and covered over with grass and forests. Not joking - ever see a section of road that has been completely abandoned for 50 years with saplings growing up out of it?
        • Mar 9 2014: All good points. I have commented a number of times on something similar. There is an entire industry in this world where paper is made, trucked to ships, piloted across oceans and trucked to Target sores. All this so people can wrap gifts for Christmas morning. Then, its all ripped off and thrown away. How bizarre.
          Just planted my spring garden this morning. This conversation has me extra motivated.
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    Mar 10 2014: it is here to stay unless the food corperations influence government to make it illegal.....whic is not outside their circle of self interest. Being concerned about food health makes good sense if you know your biology....toxic food creates inmmune disorders and no one I know wants those illnesses..hence buy local from those you trust. Ignorance of science and consumer fatigue and idealism in which we force a population to participate in economic experiments as mono crops and the poor soil health and required pesticides for depleted soil is a dangerous position of weakness whose outcome we witness in poor health standards
  • Mar 10 2014: there will always be farmer markets, formal and informal. I have always shopped early on, buying from the back of a pickup truck. I think the formal ones are a little much and maybe that is where the idea that it is a fad.
  • Mar 4 2014: I think that Lawren touches on what I am really asking. Is it just a silly fad? I think that it is difficult because not all geographies in the US lend itself to a local food source. I know I feel good about sourcing local food but I live in Southern California where local seafood, vegetables and fruits are grown year round.
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    Mar 4 2014: I have to think that it's this season's silly fad. Why should I care if food is local? I care if it's safe, sustainable, and economical.
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    Mar 3 2014: Why do you think people would lose interest? I would expect local food to remain part of the mix of what people choose to eat as long as the prices continue to align with their incomes and as long as the farmer's continue to get enough income from it to sustain their operations.
    • Mar 4 2014: Fritzie - It can be expensive and sometimes difficult to seek out local providers. I know that in some areas there are grocery stores, etc that source local providers. I just hope that local providers can continue to compete with big factory farms. Part of that will be local producers getting consistent support from consumers. I think the higher food prices may be a detractor for a lot of persons looking for local food.