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The Locavore’s Dilemma

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 677
  • Category: Food

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Christophe Pelletier, a blogger from British Columbia, wrote “The Locavore’s Dilemma” that first appeared on his blog in 2009. His essay aims to convince his readers that the Locavore movement, where communities only eat and consume products produced within a hundred mile radius, is not realistic and could even cause famine. Pelletier uses facts to scare his audience, logical arguments, and alternatives that people could focus more on, to convince his audience, that an environmentally conscience society would be better than having a locavore system. Pelletier uses a mild scare tactic to start off his essay to show his readers what would have to be given up if society transitioned to a strictly local diet. Restricted to local resources, people in certain areas would not have access to basic necessities like rice, sugar, coffee, or fruit. People have connections, passions and addictions with certain things, like beer, chocolate and coffee. Just the idea of not being able to go to a coffee shop or a grocery store to buy coffee is reason enough to keep some people from supporting the locavore movement. China’s manufacturing would collapse if our imports stopped and a true locavore system to them would cause famine. Cars would also be gone in British Columbia because they can’t produce rubber for tires.

The absence of cars would mean cleaner air but jobs would decline. The author suggests that “before going all local food, the local locavores must realize that British Columbia produces forty eight percent of all food its inhabitants consume. One out of every two locavores would have to starve.” (Pelletier, Christophe) People’s life styles would have to change dramatically in that system. Competing for food and resources would most likely happen as well. These combinations would cause some societies to collapse if the locavore system took place. After capturing the audience’s attention with the scare tactics, Pelletier provides logical arguments that debunk the locavore system. He states that a truck fully loaded with product is more efficient than a truck that travels more frequently with less product. He also states that “local food products are more expensive than similar offering from California, Mexico, Ecuador or Chile.” (Pelletier, Christophe)

Families that are struggling with money would not be able to buy local products because they simply could not afford to. Farmers markets are generally more expensive that a local grocery store. This is because the sellers can name their own price and they not only sell the product but the experience that goes behind producing those products. If rural areas were to only sell their products within a 100 mile radius, the farmers wouldn’t make any money and their products would go to waste. His arguments are efficient in convincing the readers that the locavore system is unrealistic and could cause a downfall for the environment and the economy.

Pelletier then suggests the other alternatives that people could focus on such as “the search for efficient and low environmental impact.” (Pelletier, Christophe) He backs up this statement by suggesting that consumers should be provided “with information about the actual carbon footprint of the products they buy.” (Pelletier, Christophe) With this information, consumers and retailers would be able to consider their choices of having cleaner and less environmentally impacting products. He also states how he thinks producers of perishable products will move closer to cities so they will be more efficient. If the producers do this they could have less product waste and be more time efficient.

The way that Pelletier ties together all the elements of his argument is important. If he only used scare tactics, the essay would just be slamming the locavore system. If he had only used logical arguments the essay would have no background or structure. Lastly, if he only used alternative options the essay would insult anyone who supports the locavore movement. Any of those three could make a reader lose interest. Pelletier used the three in a manner that went together very well to convince his readers of the ideas he proposed.

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