I like a little controversy and contention. It makes the comments on this blog more interesting. James E. McWillams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, has the same idea.
A historian and former fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, McWilliams argues that the concept of food miles (how far food travels to get to your supermarket shelves) is flawed and makes little progress toward the ultimate goal of sustainable production. Read his New York Times Op-Ed piece for a sample of his thinking.
Those are fighting words here in the politically-correct San Francisco Bay Area. But in the book, he argues “there’s a complex story to tell about food and the distance it travels,” and he delves into his research with gusto.
McWillliams also explains why organic food is not the answer to America’s broken food system and tries to make a case for genetically-modified food. It’s not all heresy. He makes a cogent, passionate argument for eating less meat to help save the planet. See, he’s a complicated guy, making arguments on both sides of the fence — a nettle to both Alice Waters and the American Meat Institute.
If you’d like to read his book, leave a comment here about your view of eating responsibly and I’ll pick a winner at random by April 5, 2010.
Contest rules: You must live in the US. One entry per person. I will pick a winner at random and email that person. If the winner does not respond within a week, I will choose someone else.
Update: The winner is Candace of Epiphany Press.