Monday, September 7, 2009

New Book: "Just Food"

There's a new book out, "Just Food", by James McWilliams.

As mentioned in this review by Rebekah Denn, his tone is going to bother a lot of his potential readers. Here's a review in the Providence Journal that captures this well:

A winter tomato grown in Spain that travels to England covers more miles than a local tomato but may still be more energy efficient, since most English tomatoes require hothouses.

Production and processing account for almost half the fossil fuels used to get food on the table — far more than transportation, says McWilliams. To be more energy efficient, he says, we should develop renewable energy sources to make fertilizer, store food and cook more effectively. We should also reduce the amount of land dedicated to food production.

“I know, I know: dull stuff,” McWilliams writes. “It’s so much sexier to reiterate the mantra of eating local, growing rooftop gardens, foraging for wild dandelion balls, and keeping backyard hens.”

Another thing he brings up is that the "eat local" movement is setting itself up for a corporate exploitation of their "brand" - just as happened with "organic". Here's an article I found online (written by someone else) about it. Basically, if people want "local" food, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, Whole Foods and Safeway will sell it to them.

It is refreshing to see someone try to be logical about food production.
I'm going to give it another read, mull it over and perhaps write a bit more about it.

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