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 fantasyโ€”that the collective power of tens of millions of conscientious shoppers will force suppliers to correct their bad practicesโ€”has been replaced by a grimmer understanding: Until we can make the market see all the costs of unsustainable farming, and until we learn how to temper its obsessive focus on ever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.