The Perils of Local vs. Non-Local Food and the Pleasures of Dumpster Diving


To add yet more grist to the Is Local Food Really Better? mill, Nation’s Restaurant News convened three chefs to hold a completely unscientific experiment to determine whether you can actually taste the difference between non-local and local food and wine.

The result of the blind tasting: You can’t. Or at least they can’t. Which of course means only one thing: “Lesson learned — local food and wine, which is one of the hottest trends in the industry today, may be mostly hype.” Actually, the only lesson we learned from this story is that if supporting the livelihood of small farmers can be casually dismissed as “mostly hype,” then we’re all in trouble.

But if this article on the Atlantic Food Channel is any indication, then perhaps the path to salvation lies in the trash. While there have been plenty of articles written about freegan Dumpster diving, this one had us at “a bounty of fresh detritus awaits us.” The writer, a senior at Yale and an intern for the Yale Sustainable Food Project, makes a strong case for “alternative food access abundance.” And forget local vs. non-local: “Shed of its context, the food is good, plentiful, and very ready to eat.”

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