By Roger Currie
(WINNIPEG, MB) – The idea of “buying local” is becoming increasingly popular among Canadians.
Purchasing food from a local farmer or a product from a small business is often more gratifying than lining up at a large franchise.
Sometimes local products are preferred to imports, because the products are fresher or simply better.
But the push to “buy local” can become a problem when people rail against large chains and foreign products.
Pushback against products because they aren’t local can have negative unintended consequences.
Relying too heavily on locally-grown food creates a dilemma when crops fail because of bad weather, resulting in shortages and higher prices.
Global trade which allows food to move all over the world gives us greater variety for our diet, as well as food security.
Large scale farming can generally produce more food per acre, while using less energy than small scale local farming.
Large retailers are able to sell some goods at a lower price, saving consumers a lot of money in the long run.
Some people cannot afford to pay twice as much for their groceries and other necessities.
Roger Currie is a regular contributor to the Frontier Centre.