You do ask very probing questions. Using _MY_ definition of "local" the
answer to all of your questions is No, except, maybe, the last one...buying
from a factory 200 miles away. And that one is a very shaky "Maybe".
Certainly not a resounding Yes.
First, let me say it is probably not possible for any of us to buy
everything "local". I will make that even stronger. It is absolutely
immpossible for any of us living in the world today to buy everything local.
A few people may be able to buy a majority of their daily needs on a truely
local market. A very poor rice farmer in the far east may be forced to
subsist on a local market, but even he may not be buying or bartering
"Local" to me means buying from a merchant who operates his business
within easy travel distance from your home and/or off farm work place, and
who sells only items that are produced (grown, manufactuered, or processed)
less than a day's travel time away from his place of business. And when the
item is a manufactured item, it must be made totally from locally produced
You (and I) are not going to find a pair of jeans or a shirt made from
locally grown cotton, that was ginned, spun, weaved, cut, and sewed,
locally. That just does not happen in today's world. And I am not going to
go out and look for the materials to make my own.
What I will do, and what I try to do as much as possible, is shop in
locally owned, non-chain, stores for as much of my needs as I can and when I
buy food, I look for Puerto Rico grown vegetables, pork, and chicken. I
will pass up the plantains grown in Dominican Republic and the Chiqita
bananas (I grow my own or buy those grown here). I will pass up the
Brazilian beef and buy US beef (no, that isn't local, but try to find Puerto
And yes, when I can't get what I need (or want) from a local source, I
will go to the chain store or make a phone call and buy mail order. And I
will even pass up a local product for one I can get of comparable quality at
half the price from a non-local source.
"Local" is a state of mind I guess.
--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--
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