Buy from The Local Global Village!

That's right, buy from authentic farmers from wherever they are!

I'm sick of all this buy local stuff. This is pure marketing for local chambers of commerce. Reducing everything to it being "local" is both nonsensical and finally jingoistic. This is a country with a long history of Buy America First, anti-immigrant riots, racism and xenophobia. To now watch seemingly responsible journalists, restaurateurs and wine folks argue to buy "locally" as if they discovered the secret to eternal life is beginning to make me sick.

Europe has centuries of agricultural tradition and diversity that predated modern transport. It I take a car ride three hours north, south, east or west of my home in historic Poil Rouge, I land into a whole other world of cuisine and wine. Why? Not because of local farmers with PhD's who have set-up boutique operations, but because those separate cultures have a history beyond the phrase "carbon footprint." Those traditions have been there for centuries and are still struggling to exist despite standardization. But look hard enough and you can find them easily enough.

Local does not mean good. Local does not mean authentic. Local does not mean artisan. Local is a quantitative, not qualitative judgement. Thank goodness, my choices in cheese are not limited to what is made locally, let alone wine, produce, fish and meat. If it is good and local and the locals are accessible and need support than I am happy to support them. The important thing for me is what the quality of their work is, not where they are located.

I've had enough of this nonsense. Simpleminded calls for local goods and low carbon footprint miss the point, the more important thing is what is the local quality in each area. Of course, no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

- Joe Dressner 10-27-2008 3:50 pm

alas, i'm having a hard time coming up with a country that doesn't have "Buy [insert country name here] First, anti-immigrant riots, racism, and xenophobia" as part of their jingoistic national psyche. and our history is only 232 years old, whereas we can all think of other countries have been at this sort of stuff much longer.

i do walk to work, and the tomatoes grown in my hometown are as good as any anywhere in the world, which are the tomatoes i chose to buy and eat. ditto for sweet corn, etc.

[glup], but i drink 'les heretiques' and 'mas de chimeres'.

but still, i must say, "right on, joe! let it be told!!"

p.s. no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the rest of the human race either.
- anonymous (guest) 10-27-2008 11:20 pm

I agree with your sentiment Joe, although I'm not quite as angered by the "buy local" movement as you are. I do try to buy local when local is good, as it is here for many, many types of food. So I try to avoid most out-of-season vegetables that are grown here successfully. But if I was doctrinaire and strictly adhered to buy local, I'd miss too many good things, like great wine and cheese. In a parallel vein, a friend, who was involved in the Scottish film scene, said years ago when the Scottish government was pushing to create a Scottish film industry: what the country doesn't need is a bad Scottish film industry.
- anonymous (guest) 10-28-2008 1:24 pm

cage match between michael pollan and joe dressner? i'm betting on joe.
- anonymous (guest) 10-28-2008 3:43 pm


While I do enjoy buying food from the local global village, and agree with you on many points here,there is something very powerful in connecting face to face, and shaking the farmers hand. I buy local not because its the best or most artisan, or authentic for that matter, but because I enjoy the human interaction and sense of community and common bond I build with others.

Mike Drapkin
- anonymous (guest) 10-28-2008 8:36 pm

i always consult my local doctor! the sheriff
- anonymous (guest) 10-28-2008 10:26 pm

I think buying from local doctors tends to limit one's choices. Co they grow kohlrabi? Or purslane?
- anonymous (guest) 10-30-2008 3:37 am

Good, 'cuz civic mindedness aside, Marechal Foch just plain sucks with a cherry on top.

- anonymous (guest) 10-30-2008 4:23 am

too bad the local on the upper east side wanks so much. mebbe if'n you lived in the country joe you'd feel diffren...
- anonymous (guest) 10-30-2008 5:12 am

It is about supporting community. We each have a sphere of influence and that influence does not necessarily have to be global. I would never limit my choices by excluding other locations that make great cheese and great wine, but I would rather first support my local community in the hopes of forming a friendship and possibly inspiring another local to carry the torch. The world is so big and yet so small. Your narrow thinking is just as bad as the opposite opinion.
- anonymous (guest) 10-30-2008 8:21 pm

Buy American!
- Joe Dressner 10-30-2008 9:07 pm

my harpoons are from japan. the exchange rate is killing me. ahab.
- anonymous (guest) 10-30-2008 10:42 pm

Joe, are you saying, for example, that if Didier and Catherine decided that they'd prefer to make wine from grapes trucked in from Rioja, you'd be down with that as long as it was good wine?
- anonymous (guest) 11-01-2008 2:33 am


You rock.

It's all about the balance.

I am an AVID locavore--only when it comes to quality. Yes, I should get ripe local red peppers and tomatoes, and can get some killer organic heirloom red chard and sweet potatoes and Capriole goat cheese. But some products, primarily wine, expresses the epitome of place/produce match. It gets fermented and bottled so that we get to experience that sort of authenticity. Wine and transport go way back.

But...if quality is encouraged in each community, then those little gems can sprout up around the world.

And Marechal Foch does not suck. (It can, though, just like everything else.)

- anonymous (guest) 11-01-2008 4:39 pm

Oh come on Joe, tell us what you really think:)

I could never limit my wine to just the local choices.
But I am lucky to live in California and definitely prefer the local organic produce, organic chickens and eggs and local seafood over the drab and dreary offerings at the grocery store. They reek of long hauls in a truck or ship.

So looks like the key to all this is........moderation? I am into the buy local if the quality is present and superior. But I am not the zealot type so could never limit myself to a 100 mile range policy.
- anonymous (guest) 11-04-2008 5:52 am

Thanks Hoke.
- Joe Dressner 11-04-2008 2:33 pm

Boy, if you, the California resident, thinks the stuff in your grocery looks drab from long hauls, imagine what it's like here on the east coast where so much of our stuff is trucked in from your state. So, for example, I gorge on asparagus during the short growing season here, and skip it when it's shipped here from California or Peru. Ditto for green beans, zucchini (well, I don't gorge on that), peas, corn, etc, all of which we buy directly from farmers. And the same for California wines :-). I prefer mine to arrive by boat from the other direction.
- anonymous (guest) 11-04-2008 7:42 pm

local honey is an antibiotic but honey from far away is much less so.....its very important to support organic local farms over mass agro-organic + it is true that it helps keep the carbon footprint low so one can eat air freighted truffles, raw smuggled cheese, great wines etc.....balance but down with chemical food (and wine)
- anonymous (guest) 11-04-2008 10:26 pm