Word of the Year: Must be important

Yesterday a friend let me in on the news that locavore is The New American Oxford Dictionary’s 2007 Word of the Year. Their description states

The “locavore” movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation.

About an hour after receiving this email, I was reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and came across this passage:

We consumers of the affluent West have come to take for granted a constant flow of pleasure-gratifying products from faraway lands, at great cost of precious resources such as fossil fuels (for shipping), land (which could be used to grow real food to feed people), labor (which would be better directed toward local needs), and global biodiversity. Globalized markets amount to cultural decadence. Decadence (from the word “decay”) is unsustainability: behavior likely to contribute to biological or social decline or collapse.

He is talking about more decadent items such as chocolate and coffee, which come from countries where all land is devoted to producing these “cash crops” for export, and people end up starving because they have no food. However, I think the same general argument can be made for monocultures on our own continent, such as the acres upon acres of corn and soybeans in the midwestern US. Eating locally encourages a variety of locally grown food.

On the Amazon listing for the aforementioned _Wild Fermentation_ the author has this to say:

“Sustainability is Participation” is my current motto. Our food system, in which barely one percent of the people produce food for the other 99% to eat, is producing diseased people, diseased land, diseased animals, and diseased economies. We must break out of the restrictive and infantalizing role of consumer. We are all inherently capable of producing food. More of us must make that a focus in order to create better food choices.

Be a locavore!