Are you a Locavore? The 2007 Word Of The Year


Just three years ago, four women, (Jen Maiser, Jessica Prentice, Sage Van Wing, and DeDe Sampson), from the San Francisco Bay Area came up with the word locavore to describe a person who eats only food produced within a 100 mile radius of where they live. Recently The New Oxford American Dictionary announced that the word of the year for 2007 was their creation, locavore.

The idea behind the movement and word is that the less distance food has to travel before it gets to your table, the less carbon dioxide is produced by the vehicles transporting it. There are, however, many factors involved in the carbon footprint of transported food. The miles from source to the dinner table is only one of them, but one that is frequently highlighted. I support local food consumption for a variety of reasons beyond just the distance from the source to my table.

I have written before about ways to find local food sources. Soon I will post an article re-visiting some of these methods. I will also discuss the carbon footprint of food and some of the reasons why the distance food travels to your table can sometimes be misleading.

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Will Sig
1 Alan

I can’t recall the title but I read a book about this awhile back. For me at this point the problem is less that I don’t know how to eat better (both in terms of better for my health and better for the planet)than that I can’t really afford to eat as I would prefer…


2 Will

Alan, I have read The Omnivore’s Delight”, but can’t think of a book on Locavores. I would be interested if it does come to mind.

The cost of eating well is a complicated issue. I have touched on it a few times and have started a post on it that keeps getting too long as there are so many aspects. Your comment makes me realize I should really get that worked on and maybe split into a series of posts.

Some of the increased cost is justified, some is not. One of the other issues is the artificially low price of much of our food supply. Politics plays a big part in that!



3 Anna

Will I used to be a locavore 99.9% from age 0-14, and then when we came to Canada it all changed. I say 99.9% because sometimes during Xmas family from over seas would send us citrus fruits such oranges, lemons etc., Anna 🙂


4 Will

When I was young it was the same. I don’t think shipping perishables long distance was done much back then except for maybe citrus from Florida. We just lived with what was available locally. I would not want to limit the choices we have now when nothing else is available. What I don’t like is when things are shipped in from far away because of corporate reasons and the same thing is available locally. This happens all the time now with the large warehouse and chain groceries.



5 Bob

Learn something new everyday, never knew what a locavore was, makes complete sense, keep the CO2 down.


6 Will

Bob- I have a post with a little more on this that I will finish later tonight. Like many things, it is a more complicated issue than just the total miles from farm to table. Just as one example, I would rather buy beef from an organic, grass fed, beef ranch 200 miles away than from the conventional beef producer 4 miles up the road. We need to look at the whole picture and it can be hard when you are doing your daily shopping. That is why I am such a big supporter of food co-ops and similar grocery stores. They do much of the leg work to find responsibly farmed ethically produced, healthy food.



7 paulette

Thanks for the information. I have learned something new on this article.By the way are you a locavore?


8 Will

I am only to a point. This article may give more insight into how I approach this. I did try this challenge, but found it difficult to adhere 100%. Maybe I should follow up with a report on the specifics of how it went.



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