http://www.localharvest.org/Erin Barnett, Director, Local Harvest,
has a email newsletter just out discussing her thoughts on the new initiative by Wal-Mart to buy local produce. Is this another attempt to move into, underprice and destroy a small cottage industry or does it represent recognition by large corporations of how important this once grassroots-only local food movement has become? I loved her take on the broad, almost intuitive meaning that local food has for most of us.
In the article Erin says, "For me, "local food" is a kind of shorthand for an entire ethic. In this ethic, food is produced under quality conditions, on a scale that feels human rather than corporate, by people whose focus is on natural resource stewardship as much as it is on the bottom line, in a business whose owners do right by their employees. On the consumer side of this ethic, the food is purchased, prepared and eaten with awareness of its true value."
I think this is what appeals to all of us: that feeling of a caring connection - what Erin describes as "kindness" - between the producer and consumer, the worker and the farmowner, the farms and their communities.
Find the Local Harvest email newsletter here: http://www.localharvest.org/newsletter/20101021/
And do consider signing up!
For the original NY Times article on Wal-Mart's new buying local initiative, go here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/business/15walmart.html?_r=1
I'm thinking maybe the world is changing after all?