What is local?
What is the meaning of local? People talk a lot about local these days, local commerce, local food, and often we don't really know what that means. When deciding what I would include in the CSF box, it was very important that it be local. First I thought, 50 miles of the bay seemed reasonable. As I started to realize that I couldn't get much of wanted to include within that area I expanded that to 100 miles, then 250. Ive settled (for now) on 300. Still relativly local, when framed in a global food system where the average meal travels 12,000 miles to reach your table. This process started to make me think about what I mean when I say local. Whats important, and what is less so. Its a term that we throw around often without really knowing what we mean. Does local only conote distance? Does it matter that a farmer travels 250 miles, instead of 100, to bring his veggies to the farmers market? Or does it have to do more with the relationships that are formed when you buy directly from the farmer that grew your broccoli, and everything that goes along with that relationship. The greater understanding of your foodsystem, the satisfaction that you are supporting someone directly that you respect. To me, local means something more than the distance somthing travels to get to my plate. Its more about the relationships that are formed around the food. Food is important, but what is really intestesting to me is the use of food as a medium to bring people together. With the planets infrastructure growing ever more shaky, food is something that people can depend on. I was recently asked if I thought that, since the economic downturn, people had become more interested in wild foraged foods. I think they have, but not for the reasons that seem obvious. The people that are the most interested, the ones who ask to come out foraging, want to come to the dinners, and are interested getting the CSF, aren't poor people. The last dinner I had seemed populated more by lawyers than any other one profession. I think people are nervous, and looking for something to give them even a modecum of a felling of security, and the most obvious place to start is food.