Saturday, July 05, 2008

I'm Not Bitter - Chicago Tribune Front's Local

While the story should run on the front page of Sunday's Chicago Tribune, it's already front and center on their web site. I'm entirely happy that the Trib's profiling locavore's. The challenges of eating local will diminish as more people eat local. I believe, have remarked often, that demand, consumer demand, will make local happen the most. Want more farmer's markets; shop at farmer's markets. Same with winter markets. Don't just dabble. Let your wallets talk. Demand can achieve year round local produce, right here in Chicago. Demand can create meat that's not frozen all the time. Demand will get you more and more restaurants with local food. So, I'm happy first of all that the article highlights a few others that are keeping local, with various degrees of extremism. I am happy, obviously, with the top of the news placement, and I am happy that the article will encourage more people to eat local. I'm not bitter that my comments to the reporter last week were not included. The story is mostly a good primer for eat local starters, and I'm not bitter over the fact that I asked the reporter to mention this humble blog, and he did not.

Really, I'm not bitter. I'm not a bitter kinda guy. My family calls me Mr. Not Very Bitter. It's just that I did not start eating local last month, nor did I commence my web site (this one) in 2008. Been doing it, my family and I, for three plus years. Not giving it a whirl, not a one week challenge and not in time for the duration of farmer's markets. We do it summer and winter. We maintain it because the reasons for eating local, all the reasons for eating local, do not go into hibernation when the farmer's markets pack away. And, we do it, surely a bit, for the challenge too, to see that we can continue to do it. We know the challenges. Just because my family and I believe we have as much, nay more experiences on eating local in our area, we're not bitter. If I was a bitter kinda guy, I'd be bitter. Instead, I'm happy the Trib's got the Eat Local beat.

Certainly, a bitter guy would not share the three challenges to eating local I mentioned to the reporter the other day. After all, if they were not good enough for the Chicago Tribune, could the be good enough for here?. The challenges to eating local in Chicago:

  1. Tracking down one's food. To eat local in the Chicago area means working for your food, whether it's shopping at farmer's markets or figuring out how to have local meat, it's not just a question of hitting the closest supermarket.
  2. Can local be done year-round? To eat local in the Chicago area in the winter means a combination of winter shopping and storage. I'm not sure which is the bigger problem. Do you have the time to run to Madison? Do you have the space and resources to horde food?
  3. Time. As I have said often, local needs time. It needs time to figure out what works, how to do things that work for you, and it needs time to prep, to get your local food on the table.

As to resources, there's plenty here, including my trademarked best seasonality guide. Look over the links on the sidebar for any help you need to eat local. If I was bitter, I'd go an erase them all right now.

I look forward to your participation in the Eat Local Challenge. I'm with you all the way. Not the least bit bitter.


sdritz said...

We readers know who's the expert on eating local in Chicago! Keep blogging away -- I've learned so much from you over the past few years.

Bruce said...

I had a similar experience talking to a (freelance) Tribune reporter who wanted to include our rooftop gardens in his story on container gardening. While our circumstances aren't exactly the same......

We spent a lot of time telling our story, in what we thought were compelling terms, only to find no mention of it in the final story.


I think you're handling it better than I did.

I might as well mention our little blog.....

You might like it.

VI said...

Bruce and Suzy, thanks for the comments. I'm confident in my expertise, it's the glory I'm seeking!

Ann said...

I, too, read that article waiting to see you--or at least the blog(!) mentioned. I don't know if it makes it better or worse that the reporter actually talked to you and then didn't use you in the story. Worse, I think.

Good thing you're not a bitter kind of guy!