Say the word “vegetarian” and many people will immediately picture the stereotype of the granola-munching, Birkenstocks and tie-dye wearing, dreadlocked hippie in a Greenpeace tee shirt. What exactly does tofu and granola have to do with supporting local agriculture? If you want to find out why so many environmentalists, foodies, and vegetarians support local, read on.
Generally, localism supports local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and local culture and identity. Localist politics have been approached from many directions by different groups. Nevertheless, localism can generally be described as related to Regionalism, and in opposition to Centralism.
I was born and raised 30 minutes north of Detroit, Michigan. Both my parents loved to cook. My father taught me to cook southern style recipes, generally known to be quite fattening and unhealthy, while my mother taught me about nutrition. I loved the flavors of my fathers cooking style and, I must admit, had quite an unhealthy lifestyle until I had children of my own. I started experimenting and incorporating my mother’s style into my father’s recipes – I was on to something. I became obsessed; every cookbook I owned had scribbles and notes all over them.
My husband and I have a passion for global cuisine and for cooking. We like to try out an exotic new dish at a restaurant and attempt to duplicate it at home or discover a new spice and experiment with it. We count the days until Saturday, Farmers Market Day in our town. We love to look for fresh herbs and vegetables.
The most interesting and equally rewarding part of the trip is talking with the local growers, swapping recipes, and gardening secrets and some occasional gossip. I really feel a genuine sense of community. Try getting that from Kroger or Wal-Mart. My goal is to teach and inspire others to get involved and make a difference in improving their health and the health of the planet by buying locally grown ingredients.
Vote with your dollars, and bring back the family farm before its too late.