Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Localvore ... is it a Good Thing?
(another late post ... but, there are only two more days of VBS!) I have to admit that I am a talk radio junky. Even as a high school student I would have talk radio on in the car as I drove around town, then when my friends would get in I would have to quick change it over to FM. Pretty much my radio flips between 1040 WHO and 1460 KXNO. I listen to Jim Rome, The Big Show (farm), Rush Limbaugh, Van and Bonnie (local), and Steve Deace (local) all depending on my mood at the moment. But, I like most talk radio ... except for Dr. Laura! I can't stand her voice for some reason...
Anyways that is a long introduction all to say that I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about "localvores" (or "locavores") on his show yesterday. This is not the first time I have heard him bad mouthing the movement, but this time I decided to write about it. If you have listend to Mr. Limbaugh for any amount of time you know what he is about (and I do agree with him quite often), but this time I think he is missing the boat on the "localvore" movement.
Basically he hates the idea because of it's ultra-liberal/enviromental wacko basis. While I do agree that much of the movement is founded on the idea of lowering food miles, cutting back on fuel use, curtailing the use of GMO's and pestacides, and so on I think there is a very strong open market/capitalist angle that should be talked about.
I must admit that the reason that I am such a big fan of the local foods idea isn't because of gas, oil, pestacides, factory farming, food problems, or anything like that. The reason I think it is such a good idea is because it just makes the most sense. I understand that you can't grow everything everywhere, but why not diversify your area the best you can and make the most of that. Here in Iowa would could provide a HUGE amount of our own food from the local communities and it would in turn open up more business opportunities for the people of the state. It just makes sense...
That is the line of reasoning I take when I have conversations with people about local foods, grass-fed beef, or anything else along those lines. Many of the people start talking about feed prices, gas prices, and other ecological reasons. But, I always turn it back to the idea that local, grass-fed, and small scale is the way the world was created. Cows have four stomachs for a reason ... a seven year crop rotation works great for a reason ... pigs have built in plows for a reason ... this stuff was created in a certain way for a reason!
I think being a "localvore" is a good thing. Sure there are plenty of energy reasons that it is, but just from an economic/capitalist/creation standpoint I think it makes the most sense for the animals, the consumers, and the farmers.