Duncan L. Hilchey, an agriculture development specialist with the Community and Rural Development Institute at Cornell University, says that supermarkets may have a relative price advantage because of economies of scale — but he adds, "When you add up all the external costs, such as environmental damage, the pollution generated by long-haul transport, water supply subsidies to Western farmers [who are large suppliers of supermarket produce], and the social costs of poorly treated farm labor, I believe you will find that food purchased from your local farmers market is much cheaper."
A recent study by the Maine Organic Farms and Gardeners Association estimates that by encouraging Maine residents to spend just $10 per week on local food, $100 million would be invested back into farmer's pockets and the Maine economy each growing season.
But macroeconomics aside, chef Barber believes that taste alone will be enough to save small farms and improve life for everyone.
"I have an interest in [eating local], not just for the environmental benefits and the health benefits and the economic benefits — that's all bonus," he says. "I do this because it tastes good. This is hedonism, pure and simple."
Five things to keep in mind before making your dashboard your dining table:
Car food equals hand food equals more carbohydrates in a meal.
If your eye is on the road, your foot on the accelerator and your hands are on the wheel, your mind can't be on nutrition.
Car cuisine seldom has a plate — the universal measuring stick for food portion size.
Healthy meals such as salads come with a knife and fork, something you can't use if both hands are on the wheel.
Saving time rarely saves calories.