The Backyard Definition of “Local”


Local sells. Because it does, regulators avoid definitions of local to smooth the way for producers and supermarket chains to move local to somewhere else where the weather is warm and the “wheat is as high as an elephant’s eye.” Maybe far away. Local becomes relative, like the moon is more local than the sun.

Backyard Farms differentiates its tomatoes by implying they were grown not too far from here—at a place Backyard Farms does not disclose. This blurs inconvenient details about food miles, the agri-industry term for the number of miles between where food is grown and where it is sold to consumers.

BF’s tomatoes were good. The label is clever. Nevertheless I have asked BF for clarification: Where were they grown? What is the food mile limit for how far is too far to be called “not too far”? If BF answers my query, I’ll print it in a future post.

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