Have we ever mentioned how much we enjoy the Globe’s Sunday Ideas section? This week’s edition contained an intriguing article about the burgeoning local foods movement. Drake Bennett, the article’s author, suggests that eating locally does not necessarily do much to conserve energy or reduce fuel emissions. While we think Bennett’s findings are certainly interesting, reducing pollution has never really been a major reason we support the local foods movement. Don’t get us wrong, we like environmentalism and all, but to us, eating locally is about maintaining local foodways, and supporting the local economy and local farmers. Protecting the environment is merely a fringe benefit.
While we, in theory, strongly support the local foods movement, in practice, we regularly have strong cravings for foods that just don’t grow around here, most frequently bananas and avocados. In many ways, eating locally feels like a continuing battle. As we struggle forward, however, we have to wonder about the health implications of eating locally. Fruits and veggies are plentiful nationwide during spring and summer, but as New Englanders know, eating locally in the fall and winter means a steady stream of root vegetables, apples, and preserves. Obviously, the healthfulness of any food depends on its preparation, but all else being equal, would a localvore in Boston have a less healthy diet than one in California? Your input is, as always, welcome in the comments.