“Locavores, Sustainability, and Systems”

As discussed in the reading locavore is a term used to describe people who choose to eat locally, specifically within a 100-mile radius of the city. In just two short years locavore became a well-known word and was even named “Word of the Year” in 2007 by the Oxford University Press. Locavore is a whole new way of eating that support local growers and farmers. Locavores are making a small impact on their society in which they live. People are beginning to live healthier lives and are becoming more conscious about the world around them. When thinking about a sustainable environment the word carbon footprint comes to mind. Along with the movement to eat locally people are also trying to reduce their carbon footprint. These terms go hand in hand in many situations. As discussed in the book by eating locally we are eliminating the large amount of energy needed to transport fruit from say Florida to New York. So along with consuming natural foods grown locally from sources near or in the city consumers are showing they are done supporting genetically modified foods that require hormonal modifications to survive the transport from one location to another. The book says, “There is a practical payoff for understanding yourself in relation to the ecological and market systems in your community and for applying the insights on interconnectedness and the complexities of systems theory” (p. 103). I agree that it’s worth it to be more conscious about the foods we buy and consume. By being more educated about our carbon footprint in the world we may reduce it significantly. I feel people are not familiar with the terms locavore and carbon footprint and that’s why they are not living this lifestyle. If more people were educated on their impact on the environment I think they would be more likely to change and become more sustainable. The book explains, “Locavores are having a significant impact on the ways we learn about the complex relationship of our daily bread to sustainable environments, economics, nutrition, and health” (p 103). So locavores are doing their best to educate people on the benefits of buying and eating locally grown foods. I along with many others may sometimes be curious of where our food is coming from. I feel more people would be inclined to shop locally if this was more popular. Buying and eating locally would give money to local farmers who may not be getting the amount of money they deserve because of large companies who hold most the power in the industry. Instead of giving our money to large corporations we should be giving it to local growers. A lot of the time I can never tell where my food was produced, nor was I ever curious. I guess I never knew what large of an impact choosing to eat locally would have on society. It’s somewhat scary that I don know where my food is coming from or how it is being handled and produced. I feel a bigger push needs to be made to make more of our society into locavores. Choosing to eat locally not only benefits local stores and workers but it also benefits the consumer. They are able to live a healthier lifestyle and support local food companies that may have never gotten the recognition they deserve. If more places advertise local eating businesses may profit and grow. Locavores way of thinking serves as an example of how to apply systems thinking into the food we produce and consume. However, as the book discusses, this way of living is much more difficult than many realize. “Just as systems theories are often perceived as ‘difficult to apply’ because of there complexity, changing our lives and our eating habits to reduce our carbon footprint may be perceived as interesting as science but unattainable in practice (p 130). So this way of living may never be attained but we as consumers can begin to change the way we eat in order to take better care of our community and ourselves. After reading this I will try to choose locally grown food over others.