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December 18, 2012

“Eat Local” Is Anti-Globalization Stupidity [CharlieBrown’sDildo]

One of the more irritating things that spews from the mouths of foolish, overpaid and undereducated celebrity chefs and their touts in the MBM is the unchallenged assumption that eating local is in all respects better: for the planet, for our health, for our refractory periods (look it up…and yes, it is sexual), for our foreign policy, and dozens of other feel-good reasons that are suspiciously light on, you know, icky data.

Presumably -- and help me here because the theory is so dumb it is difficult to explain –- buying locally produced foods decreases the “carbon footprint” of the consumer, improves his health (because local is confused by the patchouli oil set with organic), and provides meaningful jobs for, um, locals.

I can drive to my local Costco, which is about 1.5 gallons of gas for the round trip, and in 30 minutes buy enough fresh food for one week, and enough frozen food to fill my freezer several times over. For instance, I will pay $2.39/lb. for excellent quality, beautifully trimmed St. Louis cut pork ribs, straight from Iowa. Those ribs were produced from hogs raised on large (evil) corporate farms that are incredibly efficient. They are butchered, then packed and shipped by train to the East coast, where they are moved directly from the intermodal facility to a distribution point. I am going out on a limb here, but Swift or Armour or the other big producers don’t do this at a loss, so somebody is actually making money on that incredibly inexpensive pork. The American freight train system is amazingly good, and stunningly inexpensive. Freight adds just a few cents/pound to that pork, and since the trains are almost always pulled full, the carbon footprint (if anyone gives a rat’s ass) is tiny. The trucks that move the trailers are also pretty efficient.

Contrast that to Mr. Hippy Douchebag Organic Farmer. He runs a much less efficient farm, probably doesn’t manage the waste as well, and hauls his butchered pigs to your local farmer’s market in an old Ford panel truck, belching oily smoke the whole way. His transportation costs, and the attendant carbon footprint, are astronomical compared to a Burlington Northern train (4x4,000hp locomotives pulling 40 TOFC cars with 175 trailers is an incredible sight) and a few minutes of tractor time. And the best part? Mr. HDOF charges about $12/lb. for the privilege of risking trichinosis when eating his pork, because he feeds his pigs table scraps.

But that’s only the first stop on the long road to get enough food for one week for the locavore hipster. That 1994 Volvo (or 2012 Suburban) is going to be running for hours, going from one cluster of local food purveyors to the next. That small carbon footprint? A myth. And the quality of food? Another myth. Some things grow nicely locally. But not everything, and these fools are too stupid to realize it. I’ll take produce from the Central Valley and peaches from Colorado and avocados from Mexico and lobster from Maine and Shiraz from Australia and lamb from Utah and Ahi tuna from Hawaii and tahini from Israel and……

The reality is that these people are modern-day Luddites, who would have us eating gruel in the dark – all for the sake of preserving some ephemeral, unrealistic ideal of the earth, and replacing real religion with a feel-good animist view of the world.

Spare me…I want economies of scale and technology to push food costs down and quality up. If they want to live in the 12th century, they should move to Yemen or Afghanistan and commune with nature….until they get their heads removed from their necks for being so damned irritating and pompous.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:44 PM

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