Monday, July 12, 2010

The Local Food Movement

I am a member of the Local Food Movement.

Am I a card-carrying Organic Only soccer mom? Uh, no. The word "organic" means next to nothing to me, its overly squishy and variable. Oh, and comes with a horrendous price tag. As for the purported benefits that a whole post by itself.

Am I an eco-nut worried about the carbon that's being released into the air by those evil delivery trucks and contributing to "global warming"? Most definitely not.

Am I a free-range cruelty-free we're-evil-because-we-eat-animals PETArd? You're kidding, right?

I am a food snob.

Oh, not the imported prosciutto and wagyu beef kind of food snob. I don't care how much the food costs. I care how much the food tastes.

Maximum flavor in fruits, veggies, and grain is best achieved locally, as soon after harvesting as humanly possible. Veggies so tender they don't ship well? That's what I'm after. Fruit so soft you can't truck it? Count me in. Just-milled wheat? Oh baby.

This extends to animal products as well. Sure your average big-production beef doesn't taste very different from producer to producer, as well as eggs and chicken and pork. This is because *most* large meat and egg producers feed their animals the same wholesome-but-cheap diet. The taste of meat and eggs is all about the diet.

In order to get the tender grass-raised beef we crave we have to go local or pay through the nose. The beef tastes much, much better and cooks very differently. Same with eggs; the best eggs come from chickens with high-protein and varied diets and the absolute best come from chickens given the opportunity to hunt their own insects. It's disgusting but true. You can't get eggs like that anywhere but locally, at least without paying through the nose.

If the people selling raw milk from pastured cows around here weren't charging so damn much we'd be all over that too.

Do we pay more this way? Oh definitely, about 30% more for beef and eggs and 100% more for produce. Thus why we want to grow and raise our own.

Is it worth it? Definitely for foodies like us who make most meals from scratch. Also the kids go through fresh produce and boiled eggs like most kids go through fruit snacks and granola bars.

So no, I'm not into local food in order to "save the planet". I buy locally just because it tastes better.


  1. Well yeah. Which is why my dad always wants to take home some of my eggs, and why home grown tomatoes are better than ANY store bought ones.

    Only thing I really miss about northern Kalifornistan is the fruit stands along CA-99. Nothing like picked this morning plums, pluots, peaches and nectarines.

  2. Be careful of raw milk. Yes, it does taste good, but even with a TB registered animal/herd there's no guarantee. All the raw milk advocates forget the huge number of deaths to TB and sundry other illnesses that continued up to the 1960s.

    It's easy to low-temp' pasteurize at home, in small volumes and under 75 deg you don't alter the protein structure to any degree. Suggest you google LTST (low temp short time cycles), I think it's 73 deg for 30 seconds or 60 deg for 3 min - but check.