The Local Trap

It seems other disciplines are waking up to the fact that "local foods" are not the panacea they're often made out to be.  Here is an interesting article by Born and Purcell in Journal of Planning Education and Research aimed at city planners.  An excerpt:

The local trap refers to the tendency of food activists and researchers to assume something
inherent about the local scale. The local is assumed to be desirable; it is preferred
a priori to larger scales. What is desired varies and can include ecological sustainability,
social justice, democracy, better nutrition, and food security, freshness, and quality. For
example, the local trap assumes that a local-scale food system will be inherently more
socially just than a national-scale or global-scale food system. This article argues that the
local trap is misguided and poses significant intellectual and political dangers to foodsystems
research. To be clear, the concept of the local trap is not an argument against
the local scale per se. We are not suggesting that the local scale is inherently undesirable.
Rather, the local trap is the assumption that local is inherently good. Far from
claiming that the local is inherently bad, the article argues that there is nothing inherent
about any scale. Local-scale food systems are equally likely to be just or unjust, sustainable
or unsustainable, secure or insecure.