The locavore movement seems to be all the rage now. And why not? It’s ethically sound from so many points of view: it’s ecological, because it discourages consumption of well-travelled foods, but also because it promotes maintaining local heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables, which have been threatened to disappear since the dawn of global eating; it encourages community building, but not in a reactionary, or nostalgic way (it’s actually healthier for you to know your tomato supplier, and not just because your grandma used to know hers); it’s healthy; it’s respectful because it brings about a knowledge and an interest in how food actually comes into existence.
I’m reading a second book (I’m not establishing a chronology here, I merely got to these books in this order) on this subject, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon’s The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (2007), after having read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007). The structural or stylistic similarities are striking: both books are well researched, and try to teach as well as to narrate their protagonists’ stories, e.g., alongside stories of how they coped with a new way of eating and treating food in climates that are, at first glance, not particularly generous or satisfactory to 21st century Western consumer, the authors provide recipes and gardening advice. It’s clear that there’s a movement out there, and these writers are not only part of it, but bent on making it known as widely as possible.
The reason I’m investigating this topic, apart from personal interest, is a quest for alternatives to corporationism that go beyond resistance, i.e., beyond negative critique, and actually propose creative changes. The locavore movement, as much as it wants to make itself known widely (dare I say ‘proselytize’?), counts on personal becomings, i.e., the very kind that can actually generate a line of flight and a creation of a body without organs: no more hierarchy between the organs; the brain is not above the stomach anymore, the body not to be subjected and disciplined by rationality. Or, in economic terms, the lowest-cost solution short-term is not necessarily the best one.
Right now I see this kind of alternatives as the ones that can steer the immanence of corporationism into the direction of a body without organs: micropolitics that can poke holes into the plane of consistency to liberate desire and generate lines of flight. Personal becomings.
A, but will corporationism sit idly by while locavores build their BwO? Nah-ah. Here’s a new axiom for you: coporationism will embrace the locavore moment. One example just fell into my lap yesterday: Corporate Knights: The Canadian Magazine for Responsible Business. The cover story of their latest issue, “How Green Are Your Greens?” rates Canadian supermarkets according to their environmental commitment. Funny coincidence, though: at the heart of it, the article (and other ones in this issue) revolves around the amount of local supply, and how these businesses need to improve their connections with local suppliers.
Does this new axiom constitute a veritable move of the plane of immanence into the direction of liberated desires? I’m not sure.