Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brooklyn Locavore

While much of the food I buy isn't actually grown in Brooklyn, it's fairly easy for me to get access to great fruits and vegetables grown within a 100 miles or so, as well as grass-fed, organic meat. (Thank you, Food Coop!) The bigger natural food chains of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's as well as the local empire Fairway have finally taken notice of Brooklyn's huge population of food lovers and are offering better food options to locals.

I try to buy local fruits and vegetables whenever I can, preferring that designation over simply "organic." (Though I enjoy the huge privilege of shopping at the Coop, where much of the produce is both.) An organic Red Delicious apple from Washington State shipped to me in Brooklyn tastes terrible, so IMO, what's the point?

There have recently been articles debunking the environmental arguments for buying local, but I think this misses the point. Buying local is not just about saving on carbon-footprints. It's about being connected to your community and having a better connection to the food you eat. When you buy local food, you are more likely to be eating better, fresher meat and produce. That also means that the food is more likely to be in season, and more likely to have been treated with care all along the distribution route.

All this supports the family meal. When everyone enjoys the food and is nourished by it, they are more likely to join in the family meal and look forward to the time together.

Some Articles and Books
Local Locavores: My Empire of Dirt, with video, and another Brooklyn story
Locavore, Get Your Gun (I love the title of this one.)
If it's Fresh and Local, is it Always Green?
My Year in Vegetables: Barbara Kingsolver
Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma

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