Making sure local food stays local

November 24, 2010

Today, people are beginning to realize that the food they are purchasing from food chains and grocery stores may not be that healthy, considering they don't know its origins. This is where the recent and growing local food movement comes in. Now Americans want food they know, so they look to local farms. Many suburban and urban families in Maryland turn to farm stands in Baltimore County, such as the Smiths' farm in Springfield.

People can trust food from these familiar farmers. Four years ago, however, the Smiths decided they wanted to make more profit from their products ("Selling the farm at a roadside stand," Nov. 11). Their plan is to increase the size of their farm stand and turn it into a retail store. Considering the past of small businesses growing into large corporations, this doesn't sound promising for the local food movement.

We must take into consideration Sam Walton's five and dime store, now the over-arching, power-hungry, Wal-Mart, which has displaced most local clothing stores, grocery stores and even pharmacies. Then there is McDonald's, which started out as a single, efficient restaurant but eventually initiated the entire fast food industry.

I'm not saying that the Smiths are going to create the next mega-chain, but every large corporation started off as a single business, and driven by success, they have emerged as all-powerful operations. With this local food movement, we have to take precaution so that our food stays local. Expanding local farm stands is the first step in the wrong direction.

Lisa Elseroad, Baltimore

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