Coinciding with contemporary economic and ecological movements, the locavore movement has rapidly gained popularity over the past decade. This movement offers potential solutions to ameliorate health and sustainability problems. People who prefer locally grown produce take a variety of factors into consideration, including economics, environment, and nutrition. Regardless, locavores will inevitably spark profound repercussions with long-lasting implications for the community. Therefore, communities that organize a locavore movement must consider the irreversible impact of this lifestyle before adopting it.
As the United States attempts to recover from the recession, revitalizing local economies has become increasingly important for both consumers and producers.
Locavores have seized this opportunity to progress their movement since “a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy” (Maiser). The local food movement has also benefitted small farms on an enormous scale. The movement has pressured Congress to allot $2.3 billion for specialty crops such as eggplants, strawberries, or salad greens that are grown by small, mostly organic farmers, “a big bump-up from the $100 million that was earmarked for such things” in the previous Farm Bill (Goigoi).
As proponents of local food, locavores also provide small farms and pastures with “an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped” (Maiser).
Furthermore, if people take the planet’s future into consideration, protecting the environment seems like a pragmatic idea. Because “eating local is better for air quality and pollution than organic eating” (Maiser), according to a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, locavores may convince others to support their cause.
However, a 2006 study in New Zealand contradicts this earlier finding. The research revealed that it was more practical for a “Londoner to buy lamb shipped from New Zealand than to buy lamb raised in the U.K.” because “New Zealand lamb is raised on pastures with a small carbon footprint, whereas most English lamb is produced under intensive factory-like conditions with a big carbon footprint” (McWilliams), which overwhelms the local lamb’s advantage in transportation energy. Due to other extrinsic factors such as “water usage, fertilizer types, processing methods, and packaging techniques” (McWilliams), eating locally may not necessarily prove to be environmentally friendly.
Perhaps even more important than the protection of the environment is the protection of one’s health through proper nutrition. Locally grown produce is fresher, and “freshness not only affects the taste of food, but the nutritional value also declines with time” (Maiser). Logically, fruits and vegetables that undergo a lengthy transportation period tend to be picked before they reach maximum ripeness to ensure that this produce will not rot before it reaches its destination. This practice harms the health of humans because “phytochemicals and really powerful disease fighting substances,” never get very high if the food never reaches its peak ripeness (Maiser). Additionally, eating locally protects people from bio-terrorism because “Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination” (Maiser).
Overall, decisions yield a variety of consequences, both detrimental and beneficial; The locavore movement is no exception. Although many individuals become attracted to the concept of being a locavore, people must consider the permanent impact and challenges of adopting this lifestyle. Usually, locavores prefer locally grown produce because they believe that the practice leads to a stable economy, prosperous environment, and ideal health. Research has discovered that the locavore movement could mitigate health and sustainability issues. Nevertheless, there are ramifications which will transform the dynamics of life forever as a result of the locavore movement.