One of the greatest criticisms of local food narratives is that they represent pastoralism and incorrectly posit local food as a “fix-all” for animal welfare infractions in industrial farming
One of the greatest criticisms of local food narratives is that they represent pastoralism and incorrectly posit local food as a “fix-all” for animal welfare infractions in industrial farming. For instance in the article “’Green’ Eggs and Ham? The Myth of Sustainable Meat and the Danger of the Local,” published in the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Vasile Stanescu argues that “Locavores engage in the construction of a literary pastoral, a desire to return to a nonexistent past, which falsely romanticizes the ideals of a local-based lifestyle. They therefore gloss over the issues of sexism, racism, speciesism, homophobia and anti-immigration sentiments which an emphasis only on the local, as opposed to the global, can entail” (8). In particular, Stanescu criticizes Michael Pollan for overvaluing Polyface farms, which is owned and run by a man with very traditional and often sexist understandings of gender roles (20). Stanescu also criticizes Kingsolver and her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for not addressing the socioeconomic constraints of her project, which entailed a year of eating only local food.
Consider Stanescu’s critique and write a post that explores how David Mas Masumoto’s Harvest Son engages issues of sexism, racism, and immigration. How does Masumoto’s environmental vision depart from Pollan’s? How is it similar? Would you consider Masumoto’s Harvest Son an antidote to the pastoralism Stanescu describes, or does it, too, falsely romanticize a particular perspective on food?
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