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Well, why not rip off idiots?

If you walk into a Whole Foods in Oakland and pick up a container of non-dairy yoghurt marked “local”, you might be surprised to learn that though the company is headquartered nearby in San Francisco, the cashews the yoghurt is made of come from Vietnam, more than 7,500 miles (12,000km) away, or Ivory Coast, about 7,300 miles in the opposite direction.

This yoghurt made with ingredients from the other side of the globe points to the contradictory nature of so-called local food today: though the term holds appeal for customers, nearly two-thirds of whom perceive local food to be more environmentally friendly, experts suggest it may not always mean what you think.

A successful grift is a lovely thing, no?

8 thoughts on “Well, why not rip off idiots?”

  1. We call food “local” if we grew it and ultra-processed it ourselves. Rasp jam, strawb jam, damson and apple jelly, green tomato chutney, redcurrant jelly, rhubarb pudding …..

    Sometimes we cheat and class stuff from a neighbour’s garden as “local” too.

  2. Maybe it’s made by astronomers? On an astronomical scale 7500 miles isn’t just local, it’s practically touching.

  3. I can’t imagine anyone shoplifting organic yoghurt, Rhoda.

    Health conscious crackheads might do so I suppose.

    California is ( or was ) the world’s largest producer of pistachiod and almonds.

  4. From the article:

    ‘“When we talk about the concept of local food as an idea or movement, what comes to mind for a lot of people in the US is a sort of bourgeois white affectation,” says Kennedy. “The idea of local food in a US context stops short of saying what to do about poverty or white supremacy in how people are granted access to food.”

    Many of the most prominent voices that helped popularize the idea – people like Pollan, Alice Waters and Mark Bittman – are white.’

    – Why did the fried chicken cross the road?

  5. Otto, Whole Foods also stock a heap of beer, wine and spirits which might appeal to the yeomen of Oakland. And fried chicken.

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