A little back and forth here at the LA Times about the benefits of local food, raw milk, and globalization. Both of them basically say that eating locally has its benefits, but it isn't a magic bullet.
And then, of course, there's the question of how many people can be fed locally. Countries like the United States, blessed with superb soils and climate, can indeed feed themselves "locally." But countries like China and India, whose soaring populations have already exceeded their food output, will need imports for the foreseeable future -- in the coming decades, we will probably need more global trade, not less. The challenge will be to find ways to do it sustainably and equitably.
And even here, in the breadbasket of the world, the physical infrastructure needed to distribute local food -- the old farm-to-market roads and rail spurs that once connected farms to cities -- has long since been abandoned or removed to make way for national and global supply chains. By one estimate, the average American community produces just 5% of the food its citizens consume.
If we "can" feed ourselves locally, especially in such a rich agricultural region like the Inland Northwest, why would we not do it?