Burns My Bacon: Locawashing


I don’t have to tell any of you that local food is hip. Duh. From coast to coast, and even in between, grocery stores, restaurants and bars are going out of their way to broadcast their locavore credentials. We’re certainly fans of the trend here at ES, although I’m not one of those zealots who has sworn never to eat a banana again. But I do like going to a restaurant and knowing they’re not going to serve me a tomato that’s been shipped across the country. However, the veggie gf recently pointed out the flaws in a phrase we see printed on so many menus nowadays:

Local ingredients are used whenever possible.

On first glance, that sounds great, right? But when you think about it, it doesn’t actually mean anything, because everyone’s definition of “whenever possible” is different. Does it mean 80 percent of your ingredients are local? 90? 50? 20? Does it mean you use all local foods except for in those rare instances when there’s something crucial that’s not available in your region? Or does it mean you use local foods when it’s easy but not when it’s difficult?

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