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  • Fernando Ortiz

Locavorism- growing and eating local.

Locality is now becoming a trend.


The term Locavorism refers to the "local food movement" or the idea of eating food that is locally grown or farmed in relation to where it is sold, prepared and/or consumed. The idea was born in San Francisco and has since been merged into the sustainable and organic food movements. The word "vore" comes from the Latin word "vorare" which means devour and is used to refer to an animals diet such as carnivore or herbivore. The Green Revolution was a movement in which agriculture was transformed by technology and science and created global food markets. Genetically modified food, food factories, use of pesticides and other such methods were born from the Green Revolution of the 1930's-1960's. Locavores consume food that is geographically within their region and promote a more sustainable and resilient food network in which the apples they consume are not from the Midwest or another country but rather from a local farmer. Locavores are motivated by the idea of healthier food and more environmental, social and economic beneficial food.


Now we are seeing a second kind of revolution, what I call the "Food Revolution." Not only are people becoming concerned and considering what goes into their food but also where it comes from and what impact it is having on our environment and ourselves. The idea of Locavorism is an alternative to the global food model in which food is consumed and grown locally. The aim is to connect local food producers and local consumers in a geographic region in order to have more sustainable and resilient food networks.


From an environmental perspective there are several benefits such as a more resilient food network, a reduction in "food miles" because less energy is used to store and transport food thereby reducing the foods embedded energy and water/carbon footprint, a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions because of a reduced need for transportation and storage, a lower concentration of pollution sources compared to food produced in factories which are exposed to more pollutants and risk and supports free-range farming methods.


There are economic and social benefits as well to Locavorism such as the support of local farmers, an increase in farmer-consumer relationships, a support for urban gardens and local food production, increase in community vibrancy and identity through support of farmers markets and urban gardens, fresher and more organic food and food accessibility or food security- especially in places such as New York City where many communities are considered food deserts because of their lack of fresh food and food security.


Technically speaking, Locavorism considers local food to be food grown or farmed within 100 miles of where it is sold and consumed. Hartford is 118 miles from New York City and Albany is 140 miles roughly from New York City, meaning that locavores in NewYork City are probably consuming food from places as far as the Hudson Valley, Long Island or other surrounding regions.


The way in which we eat- what goes into our diet, where our food is coming from, what is happening to our food waste are all growing concerns in todays population and ideas that have been digested into the sustainability movement. There is still debated arguments and critiques around Locavorism, but generally speaking the idea is a fundamentally beneficial and sustainable and resilient initiative. So next time you pick up an apple think about who grew that apple and how that apple got to you- hopefully that apple didn't fall too far from the tree.


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