Is this the co-opting of “local” or just a really broad interpretation?
My recent encounter in Oklahoma City with this “locally grown” jar of roasted bell peppers from Napa Valley caused me to revisit this fantastic article from last May, which explores the angles and issues with the “local” label. Mezzetta, Frito Lay, and others are making a case for “local” in relation to their processing plant and are clearly leaving the eater out of the equation. What merit does this have? Is this an improvement upon former business practices or is it merely a new marketing strategy for their status quo? When the labels we trust become diluted from government certification or opportunistic marketing gurus, they become, at best, nothing more than a game of semantics and at worst, completely meaningless.
From the article:
…the widening view of what it means to eat locally is similar to the changes the term organic went through as it grew from a countercultural ideal in the 1960s and 1970s to an industry with nearly $25 billion in sales last year. A related debate about how to define sustainable farming is now gathering force in government, agriculture and business.