Star Phoenix columnist Sarath Peiris says local food advocates are "ethnocentric" because they advocate against buying imported foods that are so essential to the cuisines of other cultures. He specifically mentions coconut, rice and mangosteen. He writes:
"I raise all of this to make a point that seems to elude a growing band of "eat local" advocates, who sound so smugly "green" and earnest in making their case. Not for one minute does it seem to occur to many of these do-gooders the degree of ethnocentrism behind their agenda." Read the full text from the Star Phoenix.
This accusation hurts. For five years, I've written a column about local food for this same newspaper. I often write about cooking international cuisine with Saskatchewan ingredients, and who cares if I buy an imported ingredient or two? (For instance, my kitchen is never without lemons and olive oil.) While I support local food systems, there's no point in pretending we aren't tapped into the global marketplace. Read my response letter to the editor.
What do you think? Is the local food movement "ethnocentric?"
Pictured: Locally grown ingredients for salsa verde.