We like to consume locally produced food as much as possible and while very little food is actually grown or produced* here in Singapore, it’s easy to tell what is, due to the government’s food lable requirements. Local food is fresher and theoretically will have less processing to ensure freshness during transport (as long as the food is intended for local consumption). We’re hoping that means less processes performed on the food such as irradiation, or adding chemical preservatives, etc.
But don’t be fooled — it takes an entire region to support the nutritional requirements of a densely populated metropolis.
A city can grow tons of tomatoes, kale and lettuce, but it gets more complicated once you factor in other necessary proteins, fats and carbohydrates that often travel from across the county and world.
It’s a good point — even massive vertical gardens can’t satisfy all of the nutritional requirements of a metropolis. They’re a novel idea and would likely, eventually, result in reduced carbon emissions (consider all the carbon involved with construction of massive structures). However, any successful, systemic solution will be a regional solution, not some trendy “localvore” movement.
More grocery stores need to offer goods from closer to home and, most importantly, at a competitive price. Otherwise consumer-based initiatives will only exist with the few zealots and won’t gain any traction because by-and-large consumers buy products based on price, quality, convenience, and brand familiarity rather than on perceived brand or product ethics.2