Benefits of the Locavore Movement

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Children are taught to never accept anything from strangers, the same could be said about the idea of locavorism. Locavorism is the antithesis of buying food from the behemoth grocery outlets. To fully understand locavorism, one must know what’s locavore is. A locavore is a person who eats food and produces that is grown within their community and region. Locavores believe that food produced in factory farms is harmful because of pesticides and chemical fertilizers (West). These locavores do believe that by buying food locally they are helping their local farmers and will provide environmental benefits. Environmental benefits such as a decreased carbon footprint and the ability to alleviate air, soil, and water pollution (West). Though locavorism may bring numerous amount of benefits, it can also bring an adverse effect to economics. Communities that are actively pursuing locavorism must consider the health, environmental, and economic changes that come with it.

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When communities practice locavorism, this can engender a healthier lifestyle among people within these communities. People who are locavores are less likely to be adulterated by the radiation these companies use to kill the bacteria in the food. This practice of long-distance shipping may also result in rotting food and concerns regarding the quality of food. The benefit of becoming a locavore is the consummation of more mature and ripened food products (Priebe). Long-distance shipping decreases the nutritional value of these products as well. An example of this is a pea, just within a span of 48 hours a pea can lose about half its vitamin C(Lundin). Healthy diets are a burgeoning necessity for most people. Not only can locavorism provide healthier and more nutritious food, but it can also limit the toxic chemicals these “factory” made products have.

Along with health benefits, locavorism can alleviate climate change and deter a person’s carbon footprint. Food production actually accounts for a third of greenhouse gas production across the world. The temperature on Earth can increase by 1.5 degrees Celcius just from agriculture. The creation of a sandwich in a factory can even leave a high carbon footprint. From production to transportation, people can expect high greenhouse gas emissions. The collection of red meat in these “factory” farms also augment climate change and add to the problem (Chung). These factory farms just add to the problem of climate change. Locavorism can circumvent climate change and can lead to a better, healthier atmosphere. Homegrown products do not require the amount of industrialization these “factory” farms need.

Although locavorism may aid with diets and environmental issues, there may be economic and power struggles. The fact is that locally produced food can not be accessed by everyone. People with the proper amount of money and resources can benefit from these locally made farms. Because of this, communities do not coalesce among local markets. Instead, it is quite the contrary, they tend to separate these diverse communities. Localizing food can bring great imbalance, meaning that a group of people can carry influence over a community (McWilliams). Locavorism may be only accessible for the elite few. Locavorism may still provide numerous benefits, but these benefits may not be accessible to people within the community. 

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