I encourage you to take the time to read Dave's piece and give it some thought. I know I did. What follows is a copy of the comment I left for the author. As always I would be interested to know what the readers of this blog think about this subject. I hope to read your thoughts -- either here or on the Relish section of St. Louis Magazine.
The type of eater that Dave describes accounts for 1 or 2 of every 100 people who take an active role in the relationship between themselves and the food they eat. It's not clear if Dave intended to use his well crafted prose to spray entrails over a larger segment of the dining population with his essay -- but to this reader that is exactly what has happened.
While I am not a locavore, I feel the need to point out that Dave has targeted the low hanging -- and I assume local -- fruit to base his attack on. I will grant to the author that the locavore is an easy target. Indeed most ideas can be dismantled when they are pushed to their extremes, especially if you can paint the individuals who adhere to that idea as disingenuous, woefully bored and haplessly middle class. The locavore becomes a buffoonish cartoon under Dave's withering attack -- the author skillfully uses dripping sarcasm and absurdity to make his prey look absurd.
Missing from Dave's argument are harder targets -- namely the real social and political concerns associated with the local food movement. The issues of national farm, energy and health polices are real -- conceding these issues and arguments even in part to the locavore makes it harder to diminish them as a group.
Sadly Dave's argument is additionally weakened by a secondary theme that appears throughout his essay -- namely a sense of entitlement and arrogance associated with being an accomplished eater. Without specifically saying it, the locavore is regulated to the same group as the often maligned foodie. To many, the term foodie is an affectionate term, used to describe the fraternity of eaters. The darker side of the term foodie is an insult - a method for the experienced to point out the amateur status of another. If one can stratify eaters, one can maintain one's position at the top of the dining heap.
It would appear that there is not a single idea or lesson that can be learned from the locavore. The bounty of edible treats available to the culinary adventurous is here for our enjoyment, we need not worry ourselves with issues like our relationship to the food on our plate. To listen to the incessant ranting of the locavore is to harsh the eaters proverbial buzz. Please do not trouble me with your thoughts, be quiet and pass me the duck liver.
In the end, Dave comes off as angry and aggravated that an unwashed plebeian questioned the choices of the patrician. Personally I find it entertaining that the author appears so threatened by the opinions and ideas of such a small population of eaters that he is willing to use a literary daisy cutter to decimate them.