There is an interesting phenomenon in many countries that imported food is more popular than local food. People often think that imported food seems more nutritious and better than local food. They are more willing to choose imported food to eat, especially in some supermarket. However, in some places, people like to buy local food more than imported food, especially in local market. Actually, it is really hard to judge which kind of food is better. Different kind of food is suitable for different people.
‘‘Coming home to eat’’ [Nabhan, 2002. Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods. Norton, New York] has become a clarion call among alternative food movement activists. Most food activist discourse makes a strong connection between the localization of food systems and the promotion of environmental sustainability and social justice. There is no single definition of “local” or “local food systems” exists. The geographic distances between production and consumption vary within the movement. Therefore, some businessmen would deliberately confuse the definitions. They will mark a local label to their products in order to attract people to buy it. Some of the large supermarket chains have also begun carrying local foods. Check the labeling on the produce bins to see where the food was grown or ask the grocer, if you’re not sure.
When people buy food in local market, they often choose local food, such as some vegetables and fruit. In their opinion, local vegetable and fruit is very fresh. Locals even could eat fruit and vegetable which is picked fresh from the ground. Studies show that many nutrients are formed as the food ripens. Thus, the sooner people eat fresh foods, the more nutritious they are. Local food does not need to travel long distances to other places. That means it can be ripened as nature intended and picked when its nutritional value is highest. Not only is the food fresher, healthier and more sustainable produced, but since it is sold directly to the consumer without any middlemen, it is often less expensive too.
There are many other benefits of local food. Buying local food seems could develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks, improve local economies, or for health, environmental, community, or social impact in a particular place. In fact, local food initiatives often promote sustainable and organic farming practices, so native people would think it is fresher and more reassuring. At the same time, Farmer’s Markets could offer a wide variety of local foods that people would not typically find in supermarket and restaurant chains. The development of local foods can boost the local economy. When people buy local food, the producers will get most of the food consumption. Eat local food is also good for the environment. Human activities will emit carbon dioxide, food production is no exception. Food will make a lot of fossil fuel combustion in the transportation process. This will generate a lot of greenhouse gases and some toxic chemicals. There is a calculation method called food mile. Food mile refers to the distance that transported by producer things to your mouth. Food miles are shorter, intermediate required shorter transport time. Then fuel and various resources are consumed naturally less. Locally produced food is the lowest carbon food. Local food from the origin transported to the refrigerator at home, the transportation costs spent the least and consume the least energy. To sum up local food seems have more benefits than imported food.
When it turns to imported food, the label often sounds like expensive, advanced and nutritious. In recent years, imported food showed a trend of rapid development. With the continued growth of the national economy, increasing per capita income and urbanization, more and more ordinary people began to pursue high-quality quality of life. As living standards improve, an increasing number of consumers turn their attention to food imports because of the trust of international brands. They think that the food of international brands is safety and reliable. The definition of imported food is non-national brands of food; the popular talk is the food which comes from other countries and regions. It includes the production in other countries and regions and sub-packaging of food in the country. Each country has many different provisions and limits on imported food. This makes the price of imported food becomes high. At the same time, food transportation and preservation are all need high-tech to achieve. The food which can be imported should go through a variety of tests. It also makes imported food rarer because not all food can be imported. This imported food which is produced in the country of origin could mostly able to represent the local basic characteristics and features of food. As time goes by, people generally believe that imported foods are excellent.
Imported foods are generally come from other countries and regions, so this food tastes has a very large gap between their own countries with the place of origin lots of time. Even some of them are very unique and there have been no taste matches totally in the local area. This is a significant factor of why the imported food has been able to attract in many people’s attention. This can give people a different taste with very fresh and very strange feeling. It is also an important factor that a lot of people could look for happy through food. Another big advantage is that the packaging of imported food is beautiful. It could be used as gifts.
However, how to choose imported food is a problem. There still be some fake exist in the market. As this imported food produced in other countries, the instructions and product presentation are all foreign language. At this time how to identify whether the product is expired or storage case is intact are very important but also very difficult thing. People must master the correct method of identification before they can get the most assured food.
As a result, both local food and imported food have advantages and disadvantages. Local food could bring fresh feeling to people while imported food could bring new taste to people. How to choose food is depends on people themselves.