One Man’s Perspective On The Locavore Movement Gets Contentious

Late last month, writer Tom Keane contributed a piece to the Boston Globe.  The topic at hand was the effect of the local food movement and some of the adverse consequences when one’s dietary constitution is heavily reliant upon nearby products.  The article, entitled “The Bitter Reality,” sparked an awful lot of backlash from people who found his premise to be bunk.

Part of the problem, according to those commentators, is that Keane is not qualified to speak on the topic.  Further to the point, there were claims of short-sighted and poorly conducted research.  While I will agree that Keane’s background does little to put him on par with the likes of Mark Bittman, I’m not as ready to cast aside his perspective.  While I am as down with sustainable food as anyone, don’t forget that local and sustainable aren’t the same thing.

The truth is that many of his points are valid (for example: high cost).  However, like most things in life, there are valid points no matter which side of the issue you find yourself on.  If you have the time, jump on over and give it a glance.

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  1. I took a look. What Tom Keane wrote was an essay. Hence, it is not science, nor is it journalism. It’s an opinion, and just that.

    Now many of his assertions are testable, and hence can be proven to be true or false by science. But I doubt anyone he upset really has the skills to do so (at least on a blog page..)

    The “qualifications” argument is pretty specious. Benjamin Franklin was hardly a trained scientist and Thomas Edison was largely an autodidact. John Dalton, who is responsible for the Law of Multiple Proportions in chemistry, was not qualified in any formal way, as Quakers of the time could not attend University. That didn’t stop him from finally being elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.

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