At least that’s what Heath Putnam says on his blog. And he has a point: their is no direct correlation between quality and size or proximity. But to listen to the food writers, it’s nearly quantifiable.
There are many reasons to seek out local products: support the local economy, perhaps environmentally better, for example. But to just say local or small is automatically better is wrong.
And the bias denies us of great food. I love Michael Ruhlman’s contention (I believe it was in The Reach of a Chef) that FedEx has done more than any single company to change the way we eat; an Iowan can have fresh black truffles shipped overnight.
Finding a local specialty is always a special treat, no matter where it is. But there is no way that I’ll say, for example, Maytag makes the best blue just because it’s produced ninety minutes away.