Tension within the local food movement : how local food systems ensure the health of both the community and the individual
Bari A. Scott
May 9, 2018
Department or Program
As the local food movement (LFM) continues to gain public appeal, locavores repeatedly claim that local food systems ensure the health of the environment, community, and individual. The LFM benefits the environment in that it often advocates for environmentally sustainable and organic growing practices. Local food systems benefit communities not only because they provide economic support to local businesses and farmers but also because they can facilitate social interactions. Additionally, the LFM benefits the health of the individual by encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption and by providing the consumer with locally-produced food items that are not laden with toxic chemicals. While the environmental implications of the LFM are important to consider, this thesis is largely concerned with the implicit tension between the individual and the community. Specifically, this thesis will explore the ways in which the LFM cultivates community while also privileging the individual. I will ultimately argue that local food systems construct community through symbols and structures of exchange, while also participating in rhetoric that prioritizes individual interests.