Riddle us this if you would, riddle us this

Rather like those rains on the plains in Spain, the floods in Australia have led to certain crops being destroyed. Thus there will be a little gap in the variety of diet there for a time. At which point serious thinkers turn their minds to what might be done to lessen this problem at times or points in the future. All well and good but what worries us is how anyone can then make the following two insistences:

Key features of a resilient food system are likely to include:

geographic diversity in production, which spreads the risk of crop damage from extreme weather events across a number of different production areas;

more local food production, to reduce transportation and storage costs and avoid over-reliance on particular regions;


How can we both concentrate food production right by where we are ourselves and also insist upon supply from widely dispersed geographic areas? That second we do agree is the crux of the matter. If, say, the world contains 50 (just an invented number) weather zones, we get 1/50th of our food from each one, then extreme weather in any one zone can only threaten 1/50th of our food supply. That's great.

But that's also entirely inconsistent that we should be growing more of our food within walking distance of wherever our boots happen to be.

And no, it's no good saying eat local except when the crops fail at which point we'll buy in. If we're not regularly buying in then that production system further away won't have the capacity, will it? That security of the system depends upon us sending some of our local food off to them, they sending some of their local grown to us, all the time.

This burble was the product of no less than four academics. At which point we've got to wonder what's happening in academia. The answer being akin to religion. Everyone knows that local food production is a good idea. Therefore, even when the very point being made is that reliance upon it is a bad idea the incantation still has to be made. It's akin to the medieval philosopher proving with unadorned logic that God does not exist and ending with an All Praise the Lord comment. Local food must be good so even though we've just proven that reliance upon local food kills when the floods come we must still praise local food.