Food Miles

usda-organic-sealThe local food industry and movement has seen significant growth that correlates with the federal standards for organic food. Organic food has been defined as an “input-driven technical process.” This definition did not benefit small farmers but large corporations. In the global world that we live in, it seems easy to become farther removed from the raw materials and goods that we eat, yet people have had greater interest in knowing where their food comes from and have taken steps to eat more locally. The difference between organic lite and deep organic also accounts for the also contributes to the increased interest in organic foods and the discourse that privileges local over organic food. Organic lite receives the USDA organic labels and is pesticide and GMO free, yet the food comes from large retailers and can come from anywhere in the world. This compares with deep organic products which are not marked by labels and, in addition to being pesticide and GMO free, sustainable.

Local Pork BurgerThe local food movement emphasizes the benefits of local food affect farmer, animals, and consumers. Local is viewed in contrast to industrialized foods and is broadly defined. Restaurants such as Harvest Moon Grille in Charlotte emphasize the importance of local foods and the purchasing of farm goods on the local economy. The menus are farm driven and vary day by day. This commitment to local food also extends to selling these farm fresh goods to consumers through their store and CSAs. Restaurants such as this one demonstrate the identification of the consumer’s preference for local products, but what does this mean for organic food products? Is this industry shrinking in comparison to the local food industry? The preference requires knowledge of the food processes that many people do not have the privilege to consider when food is necessary to life.