General Question

flo's avatar

What do you think of the book about the opposite of eating whatever is grown locally?

Asked by flo (10587points) July 15th, 2012

It seems to point out the “flaws” or flaws in the “100 mile diet”. What do you think?
here is an article.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Overall I am not joining one side of the debate or the other. It gets ridiculously complicated.

But the guy makes an awful false argument.

“Let’s say the same quality tomato is grown for $1 in Florida and $1.50 in Ontario. If you push the local one, you create tomato-growing jobs in Ontario. But consumers have 50 cents less to spend on other local services or goods, which destroys jobs.”

So if you give Ontario 50 cents you rob Ontario of 50 cents?

Sorry, Mr. Desrochers. You lost your credibility there.

jerv's avatar

It sounds to me like this dick doesn’t even care about the issue and merely wants to fight. That last answer is especially telling.

Crashsequence2012's avatar


Must be accurate then.

Rarebear's avatar

@jerv Calling him names distracts from the issue. And he happens to be right. Locally produced food arguably tastes better, but it is not more efficient. It can be argued that it worsens greenhouse gas emmissions. If you take peaches, say, at a farmers market. Then that same farmer has to go to 10 other farmers markets. He has to drive his truck from his farm to a market, back to the farm, back to a market, back to the farm, etc. all the while pumping CO2 into the air. Compare this with a single train that transports huge amounts of food from one part of the country to another.

bkcunningham's avatar

It is the principle of comparative advantage.

CWOTUS's avatar

In essence I’m with @Rarebear on this. In a free market, prices tell consumers what they need to know about where and how things are best produced (all other ‘quality’ factors being equal). But that’s part of the problem. In food more than in many other things, ‘quality’ is hard to measure before the fact of consumption. That’s why although it might be much cheaper to buy, say, Mexican lettuce and spinach instead of the same product grown very nearby in California, if the Mexican lettuce isn’t grown to the same quality standards as the California product, then it’s easy to become very ill – maybe deathly so – from eating the cheaper product.

Another problem is that we don’t really have a free market, even in foods, which are one of the freest markets available in the USA today. For example, when you consider what goes into that California lettuce (mainly water, and not that there’s anything wrong with that because all lettuce is mostly water), that product has already been very heavily subsidized. That’s how lettuce grown in California can be grown with water shipped over the Sierra Nevadas from Colorado, then picked and loaded into rail cars and shipped back up the Sierra Nevadas and across the entire continent to your local Stop ‘n Shop (or whatever grocer or chain you prefer) for less than the cost of your local produce stand. In other words, you’re paying the Feds to ship water from Colorado to California – and back – while a relative handful of growers get very rich.

It would be nice if the California lettuce had to compete head to head (pun intended) with your local product, but it doesn’t. Not buying the California product means that you’re going to give it up (to someone who only shops “price”) and support both the California grower and your local guy out of your own pocket.

jerv's avatar

@Rarebear And from there, it goes onto many trucks… no, I don’t see any substantial difference in that regard. Especially considering that I have spent most of my life near farms and far away from rails. I am aware of the theory of “economy of scale”, and also aware that theory and reality are often not the same.

flo's avatar

@jerv‘s would you try and see if the 3 points you got can be distributed between those who actually did something called answering a question and not calling anyone names?

flo's avatar

Thanks to almost all of you.

jerv's avatar

@flo “What do you think of…”

You asked for an opinion.
Maybe you didn’t get that I have a very low opinion of the conclusions reached, and find enough fault that I don’t even know where to begin. Or maybe you only wanted opinions that made this book sound better than sex.

Either way, I answered the question you asked; I gave my opinion. If my opinion is not valid, then fine, but it’s not my fault that you didn’t like my answer.

In the future, never ask an honest man what they think ;)

Rarebear's avatar

@flo Agree with @jerv. He answered the question as asked.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] @jerv wasn’t calling anyone in this thread a name… he was calling the author of the article a name.

flo's avatar

@Rarebear, so, @jerv‘s first post (the one where he got 3 points) is called answering the question ) then:
1) you were making up a story when you told him “Calling him names distracts from the issue. ....”
2) The answer from @CWOTUS, for example, is the one calling a person a name, and the one with no pertinent arguement whatsoever. He is not addresssing the points one by one like @jerv did. One wouldn’t even tell under which OP it shoud go under if it the post went astray.
but this dick doesn’t even care about the issue and merely wants to fight. That last answer is especially telling.” Now that is an answer! right?

@augustlan My statement is ” ... and not calling anyone names” nothing that specifies who is called a name.
-If you were @jerv you wouldn’t give away your points? It is completely undeserved.

Permalink Calling people Cuckoo for liking a harmless song.

flo's avatar

@augustlan Is it okay to call an author a name? I don’t think so.

By the way, @jerv the way the questionis phrased, ”...“flaw” or flaw…” shows that it is as not a leading question at all.

CWOTUS's avatar

Except for the extremely narrow (and generally incorrect, anyway) notions of “better nutrition” from local foods, the argument is entirely about economics.

augustlan's avatar

@flo We’re allowed to call an author a name, yes. And I have to agree that @jerv actually was answering your question, as you asked it. You asked, “What do you think…”. @jerv clearly thinks the author is a dick and is not even interested in the actual issue, just interested in arguing. His opinion, right or wrong, is a valid answer to this question.

Rarebear's avatar

@flo What Auggie said.

flo's avatar

I thought I posted here yesterday.

flo's avatar

@augustlan I never heard “Don’t call people names…unless they are authors”.

@Crashsequence2012. responded but did not answer. @jerv added a negative to his response, instead of something like “I got nothing”
@bkcunningham I don’t know if that answered it. @jaytkay @Rarebear @CWOTUS answered the question.

I asked the question hoping to see reason/s that the author is wrong. Still waiting.

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually, @flo, you had a very succinct answer from @bkcunningham that was the same as mine, but compressed. It’s about economics. The author of the article is not wrong. Stop waiting.

augustlan's avatar

@flo I’m not saying it’s nice to call people names, only that we allow it unless it’s directed at one of our members. Calling a random author a name isn’t against the Fluther guidelines.

flo's avatar

@augustlan No matter what, we are all a group of people. Fluther users, is a group authors, another group. Why is it allowable to call each other names? Don’t call anyone names, period. It adds nothing, it just shows we’re mad that we can’t come up with something to back up our statement/position. It is a resort to position, unless the name is an adjective that has a direct relashinship with the wrongful act, The excuse ” “What do you think of…” You asked for an opinion. _ doesn’t quite do it because most answers (anywhere) for “what do you think…” give reasons why they think what they think, because they are eager to show why, and it is an important topic,

@CWOTUS So, Which one of you deserves more points the one who gives details or the one who does not?
Your answer, 1 point, or the first response from @jerv ( 3 points)?

bkcunningham's avatar

@flo, in most cases I don’t think lurve is given out based on the accuracy, articulation or the quality of the response.

CWOTUS's avatar

Ain’t that the truth, @bkcunningham?

flo's avatar

@bkcunningham I know lurves mean nothing and this is a blatant indication. It reduces the quality of the site. Imagine if we all answered every question like that?

@CWOTUS I am looking for item by item counterarguement. Challenge @jerv to come up with the reasons, see we can get to the truth that way.

flo's avatar

And where did I call out to @jerv to answer my question? I did not. ”In the future, never ask an honest man what they think ;)

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