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Earlier this month, José Andrés conducted a lively interview with LA Weekly‘s Amy Scattergood in which the D.C. celebrity chef chewed over a number of subjects, including the limitations of the local food movement. Now, granted, Andrés has a vested interest in promoting the importation of international foods to the U.S. market.
But still, I think Andrés makes a few very valid points. Take a read:
You know, when we start talking about this, and then we have the conversation about local… we need to be thinking. Because sometimes we start talking without really thinking about the consequences. If everything was local local, life would be boring. And we would probably end what created certain kinds of riches through history, which was commerce with other cultures. Without commerce with other cultures, the enrichment of what you know would never happen. You would be very small in your understanding of the world.
It’s so funny how we become radical sometimes. I like to be always more pragmatic. If we don’t import tomatoes from the southern part of Mexico, probably the States would have even a bigger immigration problem. Because if you don’t create jobs there that are sustainable, you have many more thousands of Mexicans crossing the border to try to come to reach America because they will have nothing to do. We need to be more understanding of the consequences of everything. But that doesn’t mean I’m not in favor of local. We have to preach as we live. You cannot be talking about local and then your Nikes come from China and your shirt comes from South Africa, right? Hey, shut up. Leave me alone with your speeches. Me, I like to be more in the middle ground. That’s where I live my life.