The March 12, 2007 issue of Time Magazine carries a cover story about local foods written by John Cloud. You can find a link to the article here:
Mr. Cloud gives a good overview of the predominant issues concerning organic and locally grown food, and provides links and references to many sources. Yet he seems to have a defensive attitude towards activists for these issues, referring to us as ‘food purists’ and ‘lefty’ more than once. In addition, he dismisses some issues, such as the link between cancer and pesticides, too quickly for me.
I like his use of the phrase “food shed” to describe the distance from a person’s home a food item can travel to be considered local. I wonder if he coined the phrase.
At one point, Mr. Cloud tries to make the unusual argument that since people of current generations live longer than people of their grandparents’ generations, and since current generations eat more globally-supplied food than those folks from the early 1900’s, that maybe a local foods diet is less healthy. Such a hypothesis is based on so little fact, and so much attitude, that it should not have even made it into the article.
Mr. Cloud calls CSAs ‘wonderful,’ and I agree. He also states that “Farming is dirt-under-the-toenails hard work,” and I agree with that statement as well.
Do I forgive Mr. Cloud’s disdain for liberal values, his unfair summary of some of the Eat Local issues, and his off-the-cuff, uninformed hypotheses because, in the end, he decides that he prefers to eat locally-grown foods? No. But I am glad the issue made Time Magazine.
-Laura Dowd, Executive Director