Monday, March 10, 2008

Eating Local in Oak Park IL. (Or: yes, it's possible. Yes, even outside CA. Yes, even in winter.)

There's a great article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune by a blogger who has been eating locally in Oak Park, IL for three years now. He's not making a religion of it -- as he points out, he cooks with olive oil and spices, drinks coffee, salts his food.

Our basic premise is, if it is available in our area, we will get it only from our area. That's seasonal eating. That's preserving the harvest. So what does that mean for right now, as the ides of March approach? It means we are eating a lot of root vegetables. And apples -- thank god my kids never tire of apples.
He's honest about the drawbacks of eating locally:
What you give up is ease. Eating local means dealing with foods in their rawest states. I believe that the rutabaga was pushed from the kitchen because of the burden of peeling. But this is a small burden. A lot of the burdens of eating local are small, and they diminish as the longer you do it, the better you get.
And he's equally honest about his reasons for doing so:
I am an eater, a foodie. I appreciate the impact that eating local has on our climate and our economy, but eating local satisfies me most in the gullet.

Next time some reporter can't get past the carbon footprint issue, I'm sending her this article.

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