Is Walmart Going to Lead the Way In Local Food Supplies?

Walmart_detailNot only does Walmart have a new logo and a new tag line, they have announced that they will source more locally grown fruits and vegetables in their stores. I have a feeling this is more about marketing and the hard reality of fuel costs than it is about social responsibility. Walmart is already the largest purchaser of U.S. produce and as they say, about 1/5 of the produce in their stores is from "local" sources. I'm not sure what they define as local, but I remember talking to a Yakima farmer a couple of years ago who said that Wal Mart is one of his best customers. So Spokane Walmarts this time of year are bound to have a good supply of local Yakima produce. I think they are trying to shape a "locavore" narrative around what they are already doing.

So much for our life as counter-culture subversives. Locavore is the new organic. I feel so used. This reminds me of my post from a couple of months ago, "Bringing Down the World Economy". It is the most commented on post so far on the blog. In that post I quoted Wendell Berry's poem,

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand...

...As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Here is the non-spouse-approved challenge I issued:

I've got a challenge for the readers of this blog. We're supposed to be getting a $600 tax refund check. Whoever can come up with the most different, the most unexpected, the most non-computing way for the Goodwin family to spend/donate/use our $600, we'll do it, and report on our experience.

Well we've received our "stimulus" and it's actually quite a bit larger than I thought. I have negotiated a spouse approved version of the challenge that makes $600 available for the non-computing, Walmart juking endeavor. It's your last chance to chime in. So far Keith's idea of taping 600 one dollar bills to the car is probably the craziest. Hillary's micro-loan idea is the most intriguing. Craig's wealth creating hedge fund is the boldest. We'll announce our decision later in the week.