clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jay Rayner Explains Why Local Food Won't Save the Planet

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Here's a trailer for British restaurant critic Jay Rayner's upcoming book, A Greedy Man in a Hungry World, in which he explains why buying local food is not always the most sustainable option. "Comparative advantage doesn't just apply to workforces," explains Rayner, "it also applies to agricultural landscape." He goes on to explain that upon occasion, the amount of resources used to force produce to grow near an urban area can be more harmful than simply shipping them from a slightly farther away area that's suited to growing them. Thus, he says, the concept of food miles is overly simple and sometimes flat out wrong.

And there's more where that came from: Rayner says you can expect his book to look at "all those foodie sacred cows — localism, seasonality, farmers' markets, the value of small agriculture over large — I take them all out into the market square and I shoot them dead." A Greedy Many in a Hungry World is out May 23 from William Collins (pre-order on Amazon)

Video: Jay Rayner: A Greedy Man in a Hungry World

· Jay Rayner: A Greedy Man in a Hungry World [YouTube]
· All Jay Rayner Coverage on Eater [-E-]