Friday, January 18, 2008


Joel Stein from Time Magazine decided to write an article against the local food movement. He decided to cook a meal where the ingredients had to be sourced over 3,000 miles from where he lives and to top it off, he would do it shopping at Whole Foods.

There are a few problems with Stein's article. He refers to Whole Foods as 'the local-food movement's most treasured supermarkets'. I think he's missing the point in that the local food movement is really focused on consumers buying directly from local farms and cutting out 'treasured supermarkets'.

Stein also mentioned that is was not an easy task. "Farmers in Southern California, it seems, can grow anything." If they can grow anything, then why the hell complain?


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eat Local Scorecard

I recently went to Portland, OR on vacation and stopped by the Ecotrust building. Not only did I enjoy some damn good Hot Lips Pizza, but I got to pick up some useful resources and to check out the beautiful building.

One of the Ecotrust resources is the Eat Local Scorecard:

I thought this was helpful for actually tracking the incorporation of locally harvested and produced foods into your life. Even if you don't use this scorecard, it helps conceptualize how you can start introducing these foods into your diet.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Helpful Books You Should Read

I have been reading a lot about eating locally and seasonally lately and I thought it would be helpful to review some of the literature:

Plenty-This book was one of the first books I read as part of the eating local movement. I love that a couple wrote it together and brought a personal element to the challenges associated with eating locally. This book was easy to read, brought a lot of the policy issues to light about agribusiness and highlighted the planning necessary to thrive on a locally produced diet. My only concern is that they arbitrarily picked 100 miles for their diet parameter, which does not actually define a community and de-ephasizes the need for regional collaboration in the eating local movement.

On Food & Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Warning: this is not a cookbook. This is the foodie bible. You will understand all elements (cultural, scientific, historical) of how we have defined food and meals throughout our history on this planet.

The Real Food Revival

This book has a lot of overlap with Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore's Dilemma', but I particularly like the organization of this book. It goes aisle by aisle in the grocery store and gives practical advice on how to eat seasonally and locally. There are great tips on navigating the grocery store and even your local farmer's markets.

More to come in a bit...