Re: Advantages of local food systems

William Lockeretz asked,  <<Is "let's look after our own" a morally valid
principle for making spending choices if one is concerned with issues of
economic justice and such?>> in addressing the value of supporting local/
community food systems.

Certainly, people concerned about where their food comes from and living in
wealthier communities should not lapse into a  Local Only  sort of
NIMBYism,-- or more appropriately stated Only In My Backyard -OIMBY--which
would only strengthen
and support the current two-tiered food system in which the wealthy have
access to sustainably produced food, and the poor   barely have access to
anything  (providing alternatives to this inequitable food system is a major
objective of the community food security movement). Supporting progressive
and sustainable food production in other locales is certainly laudable. By
way of example, the cooperative movement encourages federations of
cooperatives to support each others efforts across the world.  

There are other arguments to support the recycling of dollars into local food
economies however. First, given the current corporate structure of the food
system and global capitalism in general, I do believe that is naive to think
that fair trade programs will be extensive enough to ensure that the billions
of dollars spent in the Global North on food products will flow into the
hands of the needy in the Global South. There are also well-known
environmental issues associated with the transport of food thousands of

Finally, recycling of local dollars is perhaps most important in low income
communities. For example, in  joint ventures between community development
corporations and supermarkets, a percentage of the store's profits are
captured by the CDC and redirected toward sorely needed services, such as
affordable housing and child care centers.  

Andy Fisher
CFS Coalition
Po box 209
Venice CA 90294

2) environmental benefits
3) food system education- local