I work in large-scale, corporate agriculture. Over the years I have worked for chemical companies, seed companies, grower-shippers and allied industries. I have recommended Kingsolver's novel "The Poisonwood Bible" to many of my colleagues. I have also endorsed Pollan's "Ominovore's Dilemma", having bought several copies and distributed them around. I very much enjoyed Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life". It contained all the wit and humor I would expect from one of this nation's finest novelists. I think this book as well as Pollan's are a bit weak in the plant science area and I think both lack some of the insights into the machinations that really drive some of the food production industries. Then, again their intended audience is not the readers of TAG: Theoretical and the Applied Genetics, it is the populace at large. I very much agree with the sentiment of eating local, of shopping local, and of the slow food movement. It puts money back into the local community, it fosters a sense of community and it improves the quality of our diets. What is local though? Many of the fruits and vegetables eaten during Kingsolver's year of eating locally do not have Virginia as their center of origin. Some purists might cry foul. But, I think the focus needs to be on breaking the transport chain. People need to rediscover what a fresh peach or tomato is supposed to taste like, and their proper season. The bulk of the 'civilized' world buy their food at a chain grocery store dominated by one of the multinational grocery conglomerates. You think you have a choice when you walk into the store? You do not. That choice was made by a buyer probably at some regional DC (distribution center) who purchased the fruit from a packing shed sight unseen, and certainly did not taste it. And, their main concern was not taste, it was making sure the fruit had a minimum level of sugar, since it is picked under ripe, and that it was firm enough to withstand many hundreds of miles in a truck. It is too bad, because I know the farmers want to produce a high quality product. And, I know the shippers want to ship fruits and vegetables that taste good. But they must bow to the buyers and market forces. In the California cherry industry, about half the fruit is exported each year, but it accounts for well over half the revenue because it is a 'high value' market. By my recent calculations, it takes 7.75 calories of fuel for every calorie of cherries flown from SFO to Tokyo. That is just the flight, it does not include any other production or transportation energy costs. Does that sound like sustainable agriculture? Do you really need those Chilean cherries or that asparagus from Peru in December?