Monday, November 19, 2007

Doesn't Eating Locally Hurt Farmers Overseas?

I worry about the effect of all this local eating on food producers in third-world countries. Banana Republics, we sometimes call them, and that's a pejorative name, but what else are they going to export?

Here's Steven Hopp, in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, on this question:

"By purchasing local vegetables instead of South American ones, for example, aren't we hurting farmers in developing countries? If you're picturing Farmer Juan and his family gratefully wiping sweat from their brows when you buy that Ecuadoran banana, picture this instead: the CEO of Dole Inc. in his air-conditioned office in Westlake Village, California. He's worth $1.4 billion; Juan gets about $6 a day. Much money is made in the global reshuffling of food, but the main beneficiaries are processors, brokers, shippers, supermarkets, and oil companies.

. . .

In every country on earth, the most humane scenario for farmers is likely to be feeding those who live nearby - if international markets would allow them to do it. ... For more information visit:"

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