In 2007, the Oxford dictionary word of the year was "locavore". While I am actually in the business of growing food for others and love the idea that more and more people are interested in what I do, I just don't like that word. It sounds pretentious to me, kind of like eating local food is something new. My grandmother lived during the time when if you didn't eat local food, you went hungry, simple as that. So, why do we need a new word (locavore) to describe something that existed for the entire history of mankind until less than 100 years ago? I don't get that at all.
And while I am on the subject, when did the market become "super"? (I got most of the following from a Wikipedia article on Supermarkets.)
- Supermarkets, especially big box stores, have made the survival of the smaller family-run farm stands and neighborhood markets increasingly difficult.
- Supermarkets, in general, also tend to narrow the choices of fruits and vegetables by stocking only varieties with long storage lives, thus leading to medium-term extinction of the cultivation of other varieties. There are only about 80 varieties of vegetables being cultivated on factory farms in the US. 100 years ago, when everybody ate local produce, there were probably thousands because each state, region, even community that had favorites, etc. Thank goodness the interest in heirloom vegetables, fruits, etc. has kept some of these from obliteration.
- In the US, major-brand supermarkets often demand "slotting fees" from suppliers in exchange for premium shelf space and/or better positioning (such as at eye-level, on the checkout aisle or at a shelf's "end cap"). This extra supplier cost (up to $30,000 per brand for a chain for each individual SKU) may be reflected in the cost of the products offered. Some critics have questioned the ethical and legal propriety of slotting fee payments and their effect on smaller suppliers.