The Lexicon of Sustainability: Local
As consumers take increased responsibility for what they eat, many choose to become “locavores,” favoring foods grown or produced in their communities. By voting “local” with their pocketbooks when they go to the supermarket, these consumers keep money in local economies while supporting and strengthening local food systems. They also decrease their “food miles” and with it their carbon footprint—of critical importance in confronting the challenge of climate change.
Still, even the most responsible consumers can’t find everything locally. Coffee, spices, and most fish often come from halfway around the world. In these cases, consumers can embrace the principle of a “connected market.” By applying the same rationale used when buying local products to those that come from great distances, consumers can ensure their purchases support the growth and production of responsible and sustainable food systems. [ Explore all the terms. ]
Featured in the Film
A chef and author who coined the term “locavore” to describe people like herself who lived primarily on food produced locally.
Three Stone Hearth
“Heirloom vs. Hybrid”
A Northern California farmer specializing in rare vegetable and fruit varieties.
Star Route Farms
A prominent grower providing a variety of citrus for the San Francisco foodshed.
Author of Farm City, the New York Times bestselling book about her many challenges in converting a vacant city lot into a thriving city garden.
Ghost Town Farm
“Local is my Own Backyard”
Gary Jackemuk & Craig Ruggless
These homeowners converted their suburban backyard into a full-fledged farm providing produce and pastured poultry for farmers markets and restaurants across Los Angeles.
David and Shannon Negus
Based in Yakutat, Alaska, this family-owned company catches, processes, and ships sustainably managed salmon across the U.S.
Produced by Laura Howard-Gayeton
Directed, Photographed and Written by Douglas Gayeton
Edited and Animated by Pier Giorgio Provenzano
Music by Rumplefarm and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)