I want to clarify something I wrote in my last post, Extreme Eating, Glocavores, Luddites and More: "I don't think everyone should eat only foods produced within 100 miles of home; I think we should support important regional products that we value, whether they're from our own region or elsewhere." As I hope was reasonably clear, I've got no objection to anyone's deciding that they want to eat only foods produced within 100 miles of home. What I meant is that I don't accept that as a universal goal, to be urged upon everyone. Eat more locally? Yes, absolutely. Eat only locally? Certainly, if you want, but consider the potential negative repercussions of that decision as well as the positive ones. Strike a thoughtful balance, making food choices (or other choices with an environmental, economic or cultural impact) intentionally rather than purely out of habit? That's where I'm trying to be.
As Wendell Berry put it:
Eaters ... must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used. This is a simple way of describing a relationship that is inexpressibly complex. To eat responsibly is to understand and enact, so far as one can, this complex relationship.... Eating with the fullest pleasure -- pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance -- is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world."The Pleasures of Eating" from WHAT ARE PEOPLE FOR? Copyright © 1990 by Wendell Berry.