Food and the locavore movement

Much like the technological revolution, the green revolution has seen its own jargon develop and consequently is adding new words and terms to our mainstream language. The recently revised Shorter Oxford dictionary saw green terms such as the following added:

“carbon footprint”
“green audit”
“Chelsea tractor”
“emissions trading”

Another term likely to be added in the not too distant future is “locavore”, sometimes stated as “localvore”

What is a locavore?

“Locavore” was first used on World Environment Day 2005 as a way to describe the now increasingly popular practice of eating foods harvested from within a local area; usually within a 100 mile radius. For items in a diet that cannot be sourced locally by locavores, then organic, family farm or local business are considered acceptable alternate sources.

The reasons for choosing locally produced foods over imported items is to boost local economies, gain fresher product and to cut down on the environmental impact of food miles; i.e. the amount of energy and resources it takes to transport food items from the farm to the table. In the USA, it’s estimated that the average distance food travels from farm to table is 1500 miles.

The Locavore movement also believes the distance our food travels means we are separated from the knowledge of how and by whom what we consume is produced, processed, and transported. By focusing on obtaining local foods, we gain more familiarity with it.

I think the concept is fascinating and given the crunch humanity is facing in regards to fossil fuels. The local production of food easily accessible by larger populations is not only a nice, warm and fuzzy concept; but will also become a necessity in the years ahead.

You can learn more about the origins of the Locavore movement here – perhaps you can start up a locavore group in your own home town!


Food miles and sustainability

Natural food cooperatives