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Old 12-22-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,752,622 times
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This trend has been going on for a while now, but I only just noticed It or started paying attention to it.

Apparently there is this movement to move to local and regional food. People who are into this are apparently called “localvores” (a pun on “omnivore”, someone who will eat anything), and they try to buy things grown or produced near to where they live. This could be vegetables and fruits, but could also include more processed stuff like meats, cheese, breads, etc. There is also a tendency to try to eat what’s seasonal.

These localvores either buy this stuff to cook at home or eat at restaurants that source from local sources, which is apparently becoming a fad in the restaurant business (though maybe longer-term than the typical fad since I think this was happening in California in the 1980s already, in the Bay Area food scene).

Slow Food is sort of related. It was a concept set up opposed to Fast Food, in that its more about things like preserving and using local or regional varieties of food, which can include “heirloom verities” of things like fruits and vegetables, and local recipes and ways of processing food, (like types of cheese or regional dishes). I think this movement or trend is bigger in Europe (where it started) since they seem to have more regionalization and tradition in their food cultures.

So I was wondering if anyone here is familiar with this trend or any opinions on it?

I myself don’t really follow this, though it sort of overlaps my personal cooking and diet to some degree. I do use local sources for some things, if they available, but I don’t go out of my way to shop that way, and don’t eat seasonal (for example I will still be buying oranges and grapefruits, which are obviously not grown in Ohio). However, I’d be more likely to dine at restaurants that follow these trends, though, if I’m travelling, just to see what the local chefs are up to, or to try a local specialty.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,995,988 times
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My cousin's husband is a former chef and always makes delicious food when we visit. They are localvores. (I've never heard the term before but the shoe fits.) They have a calendar in their kitchen that shows what is local and in season at any given time, like this:

SEASONAL FOOD CALENDAR

And that's what he cooks. They also eat a lot of organic food. I admire them so much in the way the cook and live. They have given up a lot of things that only come from far away, like bananas. He tells me he loves bananas but can't eat them in good conscience.

You can find these calendars for your area.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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That's really popular in Northern California. It is also a lot greener. I'd say, try to get what you can local. Locally produced or grown. In CA it is pretty easy. Just about everything grows within 100 miles of my place, besides coffee, bananas and mangoes. Things like jam, bread, meat, cheese, locally roasted coffee are all possible to find in most areas of the country.

Another good rule of thumb, try to avoid stuff that has a HUGE distance to travel. Like Apples or grapes from Chile. That's a lot of energy to get an apple to you. Try NY if you are in OH. A lot closer.

The thing I find about eating local is you have a much better sense of what is in your food. I buy jam at the farmers market. It is pretty cool because I can ask the producer where the fruit is from and how to make it at home. Try that with Smuckers. And the stuff with a shorter distance to travel tends to taste better. And has a lower risk of food poisoning. Win/Win all around.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Yeah, it's popular in my area of Florida, too - another state that grows a lot of fresh food.

I follow it somewhat, but like most things in my life am not a purist. I do wherever possible, support my local farmers and small businesses.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Yeah, it's popular in my area of Florida, too - another state that grows a lot of fresh food.

I follow it somewhat, but like most things in my life am not a purist. I do wherever possible, support my local farmers and small businesses.
Even Dan Barber, who's the big name in the movement, isn't totally strict about it. He uses citrus, not something locally grown in New York. It's a practice, not a law. I think that's where we as Americans sometimes go overboard, with factions that popularize very austere idealism. This is the real legacy of the Puritans. Then our independent streak pushes against those proscriptions to the opposite, complaining against all strictures.

If the movement proceeds moderately in practice and rhetoric, then it will catch hold. America is a nation of strident voices, often (and often gleefully) shouting at each other--and that's actually part of its rigor. Locavore options don't need to push any agendas; they just need to exist.

A current issue is local butchering. There are organic, farm-raised animals but fewer local butcheries. Of course, farmers can learn to do it themselves, but what are the guarantees of clean conditions? A lot of neighborhoods don't want slaughterhouses in their backyard anyway. The cuteness and food, yes. The way that cuteness gets to the meat case, no.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
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I am a locavore as much as possible.....as far as the slow food movement, I dont do fast food or chains, so I suppose I would be into that as well......never really thought about that one til just now.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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Well, during the summer I do buy some produce from Farmers Markets. But I'm happy enough to eat produce farmed from anywhere within the US, as much of what's in the grocery stores are from somewhere else.

But it also depends on cost. I'm glad there's organic options but it's also expensive and not agreeable to my budget.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
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Absolutely.

My wife is a vegetarian and I only eat meat that is organic, treated humanely, and raised locally.

Now, it is definitely more expensive and time-consuming to eat this way. Locally, we know our Indiana farms, farmers, and butchers, and we pay a premium for it. Tomorrow, I need to buy four pounds of bacon and I will pay $7.89/lb. Yes, I will pay over $30 for four pounds of bacon. That said, I know it is fresh, produced locally, and treated humanely. I am welcome to visit the farm and see the conditions any time I want. We have done that multiple times. We just visited our local dairy last Saturday. When buying milk and cheese, we know how the farm operates. Hopefully more people start buying this way and the price will come down. Unfortunately, this lifestyle is seen as "elitist." As Alice Waters says, high-quality food should be available to everyone.

As for eating out at restaurants, there are a decent number here in Indianapolis and in other large Midwestern cities that are catering to this crowd. I have no problem eating out in Indy and only getting organic, local, humane meat and I can go to Chicago, Louisville, or Detroit, and do the same thing. It takes a little bit of work, and it's more expensive than eating at Applebee's, but it's worth it and the food is infinitely better, IMO.

I find it amazing that people care more about the quality of what they put in their driveway than what they put in their (and their child's) body.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:40 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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Thanks for the input, folks..

Quote:
I buy jam at the farmers market. It is pretty cool because I can ask the producer where the fruit is from and how to make it at home.
I'm starting to do that, too, with jam and honey. Here in Ohio they still make maple syrup from the trees (up in northern Ohio, which was settled by New Englanders), and I buy that from a farmers market.

Quote:
Another good rule of thumb, try to avoid stuff that has a HUGE distance to travel. Like Apples or grapes from Chile. That's a lot of energy to get an apple to you. Try NY if you are in OH. A lot closer.
For citrus that would be tough to do, but sure, apples and things like that. Ohio apples are pretty easy to get here, even in supermarkets. At least one local grocers make a point of stocking regionally-produced items, when they are in season, so it's becoming easier to do this in my area...easier in the sense of incorporating local sourcing into a typical multi-item grocery-shopping trip.

The same place is making a point of stocking organic and free range meats, too (dont recall if they from Ohio.

I notice that if I goes to farmers markets (the one here in Dayton and especially Findlay Marekt down in Cincinnati) you are pretty much assured of a good range of locally sourced items. During the fall there are plenty of stands out on the country roads around here, too....
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:53 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,752,622 times
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Quote:
That's really popular in Northern California. It is also a lot greener. I'd say, try to get what you can local. Locally produced or grown. In CA it is pretty easy. Just about everything grows within 100 miles of my place, besides coffee, bananas and mangoes.
I used to live near Napa and I noticed this was already part of the Bay Region food scene, back in the 1980s. There was Alice Waters and her restaurant in Berkley, I think, that was an advocate for this, back then. But sure, you could just drive around the backroads and find stuff like aspargus and other veggies and fruits at farmers stands (stuff that would be supermarket food back east), due to the mild climate and long growing seasons there. Food, fresh and local, was very much part of the culture there.

I watching this start to develop, now, in the Ohio Valley...but as was said, it's something that seems to make sense, but the economics need to be developed more to make it maybe more affordable.

Quote:
If the movement proceeds moderately in practice and rhetoric, then it will catch hold.
Yeah, I think so, as I said I try to work it into my shopping, but the more available local stuff becomes the more folks might start buying it, without having to go out of there way. I think you can market it based on quality and flavor, if the price is higher than mass-produced food.
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