Letter: Cold Hard Realism

I wanted to compliment you on your excellent article on the local food movement in Metro Pulse. It was exceptionally well balanced and, for the first time I've seen in an article on this subject, used cold hard realism.

As a food microbiologist, I also applaud you for not stating or implying that local food is somehow safer than that produced by "modern agriculture"... because there is no evidence that it is and some evidence that it isn't.

I am also a food scientist. We work on ways to preserve foods to make them safer, more convenient, and last longer so that they don't spoil so quickly. No food scientist I know of, however, would ever argue that eating a tomato right out of garden is far superior to one out of a can. Thus, we should enjoy local food for exactly why you stated, because it usually tastes better and is generally more nutritious.

P. Michael Davidson, Professor and Head

Department of Food Science and Technology

University of Tennessee