A locavore is a person who puts buying locally at the top of her priorities when shopping for anything. Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book about extreme locavory - her family spent a year eating nothing that was not produced within a few miles of her home, each family member claiming an exemption for something non-native to Virginia, coffee for one, chocolate for another.
Buying organic is good, but not so much if your organic bib lettuce had to be shipped in a petroleum- based plastic container the size of a baby bathtub across country on a diesel truck or train.
Thanks particularly to nationally centralized chains like Wal-Mart, it becomes more and more difficult by the day to purchase local meat. Yes, it can be done but it takes a lot of leg work and planning.
Today I read a report that the US Department of Agriculture allows millions of pounds of E.coli tainted beef to be sold in the US. The loophole allows pre-cooked meat with E.coli to be sold to the general public and to schools. USDA officials don't believe an E.coli outbreak will occur from the cooked meat, but some inspectors claim this year's rise in cases is due to the practice. In addition, it raises the possibility that allowing E.coli inside processing plants will also contaminate raw meat.
Pre-cooked hamburgers use the suspect meat. So too, does any of that convenience food busy moms and dads lean on--those crock pot dinners, pre-cooked stir fries and so on. Burritos, taquitos-any frozen food you buy with pre-cooked beef inside could be tainted.
From the Chicago Tribune: "
"The government keeps putting out that we've reduced E. coli by 50 percent and all of that," said an inspector. "And we haven't done nothing. We've just covered it up."
The reason that locavores are safer than others is that small, local processing plants are much, much less likely to be involved in meat recalls and tainted food. Like everything else in the free trade movement, meat that comes from processing plants that pay skilled workers decent wages are better on many, many levels. This is just one.