By William G. Moseley, SanFrancisco Chronicle, Nov 18.
Increasing awareness of climate change has transformed the way Americans think about organic food. While organic consumers used to focus on how food was produced, such as whether pesticides were used, they now are also concerned about how far food has traveled to arrive at their plate. The issue is that greater distances often equate to more energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
The preference for eating local has been popularized, among others, by UC Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan in the "Omnivore's Dilemma" and by Barbara Kingsolver in "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." This "eating local" philosophy has a huge following among those consumers who buy organic food. But what about the consequences of the local food craze for farmers in the developing world who have joined the organic and fair trade movements?