Way back when, everybody was a locavore.
There wasn't really an alternative. They didn't have fancy shit like semis and refrigerator cars and butylated hydroxyanisole. They grew stuff, they slaughtered stuff, then they had to eat it before it went bad. Sure, there was trade and shipping, but diet was firmly rooted in place. Folks figured out what crops ripened when, how plants and animals supported each other, how to use whatever was at hand in the season to make a meal.
That's how cuisine happened.
Chinese cuisine. Mexican. French, Balinese, Ethiopian. Regional food, specific to time and place because it had to be, because that's what the land and the climate supported and would continue to support over hundreds and thousands of years. We eat this dish in spring because that's when the squash blossoms are fresh. We eat this dish in early winter because that's when we slaughter the hogs and have fresh pork. We grow and eat these beans because they revitalize the soil for other crops. The whole way of eating, the entire style of food in an area, based on hundreds of years of negotiation between farmers and nature, figuring out what works.
The result is badass food. Traditional cuisines taste amazing (unless you're in England). And they're healthy, too. Good shit.
Then the Industrial-Agricultural Complex slithered along and wedged its tentacles deep into every orifice of the food system.
High-yield hybrid crops, fossil fuel fertilizers, and factory meat farms sprang up all over America, then began their systematic conquest of the rest of the globe. Wherever they went, traditional sustainable farmers were crushed by the sheer economic volume. Without better options, many joined up and became tentacles themselves, spraying chemical sludge over sterile fields, cramming chickens and hogs into concentrated intensive farming units. Don't blame the farmers, it's not like they had much of a choice.
Hey, don't get me wrong, it's great that there's less famine and less starvation in the world due to bigger and bigger crop yields. That's awesome. But you can't ignore the skyrocketing rates of diabetes, the pools of animal waste, the fucking Great Barrier Reef dying, thanks in part to agricultural runoff in the ocean.
The industrial food system is killing us and killing the planet.