The NY Times has an interesting article onhow big ag is co-opting the local food movement's mojo to sell Lays potato chips and other junk food. Jessica Prentice, San Francisco based food writer and inventor of the term, "locavore", has the following choice quote;
“The local foods movement is about an ethic of food that values reviving small scale, ecological, place-based, and relationship-based food systems,” Ms. Prentice said. “Large corporations peddling junk food are the exact opposite of what this is about.”
Food companies are getting the message that people want to know where their food comes from, and who is involved in bringing it to market. The true test would be if a rep from Frito Lay could sign up to sell Lays Potato Chips from potatoes grown in Othello and processed in Moses Lake at Washington Farmers' markets. Technically they would qualify but there is an intangible piece that is missing that makes it seem ridiculous.
So what is it with local food? What's the big deal? Why are people so interested? Why does a Farmers' Market resonate and a Lays Potato chip leaves us flat?