A new agricultural movement has emerged and has become widespread in the past decade called “locavores”. These locavores advocate the consumption of only locally grown foods. This healthy movement would not only change a person’s nutrition but also the sustainability and economics of our world. Eating locally grown food has a higher nutritional value than foreign food shipped overseas. For starters, foods begin to lose nutrition as soon as it has been picked off its’ vine (Source B).
Produce bought from local venders has typically been picked within 24 hours of your purchase (Source A). Although an orange from Wal-Mart is still a healthy choice and the necessary vitamins can be obtained, paying the small price difference for locally grown foods is worth the flavor. Go to your local farmers market and buy a strawberry and compare it to a strawberry bought at big retail grocery store. Take a bite of the locally grown strawberry and it drips sweet juice, while the name brand strawberry has a white center and tastes like water.
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There is a clear winner. The second issue associated with the locavore movement is sustainability. Buying locally grown foods lowers the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transportation, production and retail these foods must go through to get to major grocery stores (Source D). But what some tend to overlook is the fact that local farms may produce more pollution than the farm a few states away. It makes much more sense to grow lamb, for instance, in a natural environment in New Zealand rather than factory-like conditions in England (Source C).
Although an Englishman buying lamb grown in England reduces air pollution, the carbon footprint left by the English farms has a higher environmental cost. An argument against the locavore movement states a truck shipping 2,000 apples over 2,000 miles uses the same amount of fuel per apple as a local farmer travelling 50 miles to sell 50 apples (Source C). But this contradicts basic logic that if those same 2,000 apples were sold locally fuel would be saved. If more people joined the locavore movement and bought foods that are agriculturally practical to your geography, there would be less impact on the environment.
Locavores help boost their local economies. By purchasing foods grown by local farmers, you are helping them compete against big retailers like Wal-Mart. For each dollar spent at your local market, twice as much is generated for your local economy (Source A) and supporting your community. But buying strictly from local markets would be impossible. If only local foods are consumed, major corporations would disappear and the balance between global and local markets would diminish.
While locavores support buying locally, they fail to acknowledge the fact that they are hurting farmers in other counties such as Kenya (Source C). Kenya sells green beans to England and if the English choose to join the locavore movement, Kenya would be out of business. Though there are many positive effects of being a locavore, the community must take into account their geography and how environmentally profitable it really is. The balance of mega market and local consumers must be maintained in order for our nation to succeed.