This article takes up the concept of local food in the context of rural Central Wisconsin. It examines the encounter between two locals—that of the local food movement and that of the denizens of the area—as a means of unearthing the silences and assumptions implicit in the word as wielded by each community. Rather than having the naturalized meaning that many in food activism impute to it, the local is socially constructed and engages people with diverse worldviews.

Andrea S. Wiley explores the material and cultural characteristics of milk in the United States and India, illuminating how each country’s distinctive political, economic, religious, and historic context produces divergent meanings attached to dairy.