Local Food Hits the Wal

It seems like we were all just wondering when exactly the local food movement would be co-opted.

And suddenly, here’s our answer: According to NPR, Wal-Mart has begun touting its locally grown produce.

Wal-Mart says partnerships with local farmers have grown 50 percent over the past two years—not just in California, but in Wal-Mart stores across the country. This year, it plans to buy about $400 million worth of locally grown produce.

The company says it’s doing this mainly to save fuel costs, but the public relations value of being hooked in to the locavore movement is probably not lost on it.

Wal-Mart’s definition of locally grown food might be very different from, say, Barbara Kingsolver’s. Wal-Mart defines local food as any food grown in the same state. Which means an apple grown in Redding, California, can end up labeled as local when it appears in a San Diego Wal-Mart—more than 600 miles away.

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