What Has Become of “Local” Became of “Sustainable” et al.
How do we value local foods when balanced against organic products from ’round the world? Because something is said to have been produced just down the road does not necessarily mean that it is better for us, or for the environment. And now we seem to be inviting in ad hoc groups of self-appointed food police who are prepared to publicly question restaurant and grocery claims of health, quality, locality, and intent. The cache’ of local and organic has become unquestionable in high-end restaurants around the world, so much so that the dollar return invites exaggeration and out-right lies. Because of this faltering record, claims of “Purity and Honesty” in these venues is fast inviting skepticism if not outright disbelief. As failed screenwriters and ad copy butchers apply the principles of deniability to menus and grocery placards we can expect to see an acutely astute underground movement in search of truth and sincerity. First casualties are the words. We’ve lost ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘natural’ and a raft of terms randomly applied to the health of the biosphere. Soon to follow will be ‘local’, ‘biodiversity’, ‘traditional’ and ‘elaboration’.