Locavore, it turns out, is not only a new word, but the Oxford Word of the Year. It's origin is a group of women in San Francisco (where else?). There is a website now, and the following is what I retrieved from there:
"We are a group of concerned culinary adventurers who are making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco for an entire month. We recognize that the choices we make about what foods we choose to eat are important politically, environmentally, economically, and healthfully."
There is without doubt much merit in this initiative. Easy for them, you will say, in San Francisco, surrounded by a bounteous ocean and productive, diverse agriculture. Imagine being a locavore in Chicago in winter, consigned to a steady diet of rutabagas and turnips.
My white asparagus exposes the difficulties of being green. Foulfoods is all over the business of greenness, sustainability, organic, ethics and so on; its website positively swells with noble sentiments about "Holistic Thinking." And yet here it is, in reality, enabling the upper middle classes to indulge their insatiable lust for exotic produce, at the cost of using precious fossil fuels to import an unnecessary vegetable from halfway round the world.
In closing I note that "locavore" has not yet found its way into the blogger.com spellchecker.