For several years now many activists and policymakers have called for greater agricultural protectionism and local food production. In the last two decades, however, “locavore” initiatives have repeatedly failed to deliver on their proponents’ promises. Professor Desrochers will argue that this outcome was inevitable because they (re)created the problems that had historically motivated the development of modern agricultural production practices and of the globalized food supply chain. By promoting the increased production of local food that does not offer a compelling quality/price ratio while shunning modern production and processing technologies, local food activists and protectionists ensure that our food supply will become more expensive, environmentally damaging, and hazardous to our health than is presently the case.
Pierre Desrochers is Associate Professor of geography at the University of Toronto. His main research interests are economic development, technical innovation, business-environment interface, and energy policy and food policy. He maintains a detailed website at http://geog.utm.utoronto.ca/desrochers/
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