Paul Roberts Tells Locavores to Grow Up

Paul Roberts' article, Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008, is a must read for those interested in the ongoing mutations of the local food movement. He basically says the locavore concept won't work. Here's the most salient quote to his argument;

In the end, winning overskeptical consumers won't be enough. Given the reality of what consumers can and can't do, market liberalizers' enduring fantasy—that the collective power of tens of millions of conscientious shoppers will force suppliers to correct their bad practices—has been replaced by a grimmer understanding: Until we can make the market see all the costs of unsustainable farming, and until we learn how to temper its obsessive focus on ever greater efficiencies, market-driven sustainability will fail.

His conclusion is that market forces are too powerful and demographic realities are too overwhelming for the local food movement to make a real difference in what is a sick food system. I have had these thoughts myself. Since we have come out of our sparsely populated locavore bubble, I can't help but notice that the Wal Marts and Albertson's are packed with people.

All I have to say is, "Waaaaaaaaaaa!" I guess I don't like being told to grow up.

Mr. Roberts will be speaking in Spokane tonight at 7:30pm and tomorrow at 10:30am at EWU's Get Lit program.