100-Mile Diet Headaches

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locovore.jpegBy Courtney Cochran

There's a reason they call it the 100-Mile Diet "Challenge": It's not easy eating local. Ever since "locavore" became the Word of the Year for the Oxford American Dictionary in 2007, the movement that champions consuming only locally produced foods has skyrocketed to the fore of our national consciousness, even scoring a much-replayed send-up by Robin Williams on Law & Order: SVU . ; But as the hype wanes and reality sets in, a backlash is brewing as would-be adherents struggle to stick to a diet that's long on effort and - more often than many proponents would care to admit - often short on gustatory reward .
Locavore Backlash Gone Wild
To wit, journalist Amy Stewart descried on NPR in early '08 that "our obsession with local food has gone far enough," adding moments later that "we have heaped all our fears and anxieties onto the dinner plate." And while her commentary attacks the over-exuberance that ails the movement rather than the logistical snares entailed with carrying it out, her criticism has become something of a lightning rod for foodies who'd rather NOT go to the trouble of consuming only local products - whatever their reasons Adding further fuel to the anti-loal flame, April '09 saw the New York Post publish a scathing piece dubbed "Gourmonsters" in which locavores are characterized as "an exclusive clique of anorexic cheerleaders [who] think they're better than you." Ouch.

And while the crux of NYP piece is a criticism of the high prices often associated with local, organic products (the author's point being it's unethical to push these pricey items during a recession), the fact remains that it's not only not easy eating local - it's also not always popular, depending on who you talk to.

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