Jumping the Locally Harvested Shark

A “humorous” article by Barry Foy that ran in The Ethicurean synchs up nicely with a Time magazine article by Joel Stein last week, in which Stein, apparently just to be contrary, prepares a meal made solely of foods that traveled more than 3,000 miles to the table. This, in the wake of 2007’s fascination with locally grown food craze, is the locavorean backlash.

Foy’s satirical description of a Washington State couple that plans to go no further than their own refrigerator for food this year would be funny if it contained things like jokes, wit or comic timing–you know, elements of humor. As it is, the piece simply illustrates the fact that some people seem to resent those who undertake these local-centric diets. Same with stein’s piece.

What are these guys trying to say? What is wrong with trying to reduce one’s environmental footprint by cutting down on the impacts one makes with one’s food habits? Now, of course we understand the need to be reactionary–Big, self-righteous movements need to be taken down a peg in general–but we don’t understand a couple of things:

First, what is so wrong with the local food movement? As self-righteous do-gooding goes, it seems about as innocuous as recycling. Second, what’s with the direct attacks on the movement and its participants? Seems to us that the target is the pompous attitude of its proponents. We’d like to see more riffs on Alice Waters’ and Michael Pollan’s loose grip on reality outside Berkeley, their insistence that we dedicate every waking moment outside work to finding the closest-grown lettuce possible. Just making fun of well-intentioned diners seems like a cheap shot. Can we please ding the luxury cars of their patron saints instead?

Extreme Eating [Time]
Extreme “Locavore” Household Vows Not to Forage Further Than Own Refrigerator [The Ethicurean]

Jumping the Locally Harvested Shark