The choice between eating cheap supermarket food versus being a sustainable locavore is not really as simple as it looks, at least if your goal is to make the world a better place.
You might think that an all-organic, all-local diet would be best for the environment, for your health, and for an ethical world economy—but not always. Maybe not even most of the time.
Sometimes food from halfway around the world has a smaller carbon footprint than food produced locally. Many poor farmers are “organic” because they simply can’t afford fertilizers and pesticides—in which case they probably can’t afford the “organic” certification, either.
Add in the issue of farm subsidies and their negative effects on third-world farmers and things start to get really complicated.
So should people who shop exclusively at farmers markets feel even more guilty than they probably already do? Overthinkers will be happy to learn that there is no consensus, though pretty much everyone agrees we should ditch the Farm Bill. (Except for the people who get money from the Farm Bill, of course.)
B. Traven is a Billfold reader (guess which one of you!) who sends us so many tips, we just had to give him a byline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
I don’t make resolutions, but I do want to have more dinner parties/opportunities to cook for other people this year. There are a lot of great food blogs out there, but they don’t always include video, which is why I really like Food Wishes, which has everything from making deviled eggs to fancy French stuff. Those crab stuffed corn muffins are going to show up at a Super Bowl party very soon.
I unsubscribed to all of Gilt’s flash sale emails about a year ago, but recently rediscovered their food blog, which is actually pretty good. Its contributors include former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl, Whitney Chen Wright, who was a line cook at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, and Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of wd~50. Here’s a post on making your own soft serve, one by Reichl on making a peach guacamole, and one by Chen on making a stuffed French toast. If you, like me, enjoy reading and looking at food, well you’re in for a treat.