The Small-Mart Revolution
The end of the 20th century saw an extraordinary change in scale in world trade. Supply lines became ever longer. We get water from Fiji, grapes from Chile and almost everything else from China. Corporate chain stores proliferate. Globalization is constructed on a foundation of cheap and endless oil, gas and coal. The environmental consequences of this system are enormous. As a perfect storm of peak oil, climate change and economic instability looms, going local is making more and more sense. You can see shifts in the paradigm. For example, there is a rapid growth in and popularity of farmers’ markets and CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture. The latter is a method for the public to create a relationship with a local farm and to receive a weekly basket of fresh food.
Michael Shuman is the co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies and author of numerous books and articles on the connection between local economies and international affiars.
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