Eating Local Food As An Act Of Belonging with Vicki Robin

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Food is among our most basic human needs. 200 years ago in the US, everyone ate local food, and farming was a primary profession. However, industrial agriculture has distanced us from the hands that grow and process our food. If you are over 60 you’ve seen, in your lifetime, your food shifting from local to industrial. We’ve become more and more disconnected from the knowledge of where our food comes from. Can making some small commitment to eating within a radius of where we live help to turn the tide toward sustainable living and help reconnect us to community? In this deep dialogue we will explore some of the following questions: Is “eating local” an act of honoring the hands and lands that feed us? Can we enjoy a more healthy lifestyle by eating food that is grown close to home? Is eating local food an ethical and spiritual issue? Why is eating from your bioregion good for you, good for your community, and good for the planet? Vicki Robin gives us insight as to what it means to eat local, “We have completely lost contact with a diet that’s appropriate to place …A ‘place-based’ diet locates you somewhere. It grounds you somewhere and when you’re grounded somewhere, you care about the place and because you care about the place, suddenly, you’re engaged in place making...You care and when people care about their place, they make different choices.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Vicki Robin has been a pioneer at the forefront of the sustainable living movement. She has helped launch many sustainability initiatives including: The New Road Map Foundation, The Simplicity Forum, The Turning Tide Coalition, Sustainable Seattle, The Center for a New American Dream, Transition Whidbey, and more. In the 1990’s she served on the President’s Council on Sustainable Development’s Task Force on Population and Consumption. For fun, Vicki is a comedy improv actress, appearing frequently with her troupe, Comedy Island.

Her books include:

To learn more about Vicki Robin’s work go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the 10-mile eating experiment
  • What is the downside of the industrial food system
  • What does “eating local” mean
  • How eating local food can lead to more people getting together with neighbors and enlivening their communities
  • What is the 50/50 eating experiment
  • What is different between “going back to the land” and eating local
  • Why hope is a responsibility
  • Why industrial scale agriculture does not produce cheaper food
  • How resilience is working for something, rather than against something

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 1/17/2014   Program Number: 3494

Music Playlist

From Album: Journey Between
Artist: Baka Beyond
1998 Rycodisk – Hannibal #HNCD 1415

Opening Essay: Track 05 Cotu
Music Break 1: Track 04 Konti
Music Break 2: Track 06 Land's End
Music Break 3: Track 08 Queen of Ngorongoro