Contributed by Lisa Hanlon
Right now “local” is kitsch. But what does local really mean? Who do we want to support or how close do we want our food to come from? There are many factors to consider, whether they be environmental, economical, or just plain trendy so you can brag to your friends.
When it comes down to it, who wouldn’t want to support their local economy before giving their money to a greedy corporation? I truly believe that most of the Canadian public want to support local, yet don’t completely understand how to do that, or don’t want to inconvenience themselves into having to actually cook a meal themselves, or figure out what to do with weird vegetables like kale or rutabagas. Canadians are lazy eaters.
If the local food movement is really going to overcome the conventional agricultural system now in place, then consumers are going to have to take an active role in developing a food culture, appreciating what we have when it’s in season, and sharing the risks farmers take for us all.
Supporting local farmers by means of CSA shares or pre-ordering a quarter beef shows that we really care how our food is being produced and want the farmer to actually make a living doing what they love instead of having to work off-farm. If we really value the effort farmers are making to produce and market healthy and sustainable alternatives, then we need to make a little more effort to find local products, pay a little more and relearn those old family recipes