Too expensive to stay local?

local eating on a dime

This Globe and Mail article is an interesting look at how the “economic downturn” is making it harder for chefs to continue to use local ingredients. Based on the article it looks like we need to de-list Il Fornello since they have dropped their local menu.

Personally we’ve found that the cost of local food is not that noticeable an increase in our grocery bill. Certainly the CSA plan makes it less apparent since we’ve prepaid for all our vegetables in installments. Our meat is still purchased on a biweekly basis but Fresh From The Farm‘s prices are quite reasonable. Their meat does not go on sale, but it’s not nearly as pricey as other local butchers we’ve been to.

Probably the most cost effective local eating strategy is to grow it all yourself. Our garden is much bigger this year but it’s certainly not enough to sustain us for the summer, let alone provide for our needs over the winter via canning. Still, it’s a good place to start. We recently saw a story on Global TV that interviewed some chefs who have roof-top gardens to supply herbs, etc to their restaurants. 

Another side-note on the effect of the downturn on the local food movement: do you think the “buy American” push is an ugly sister to buying local food, the same thing, or not at all related?

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Devin Loughead Folks
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My family buys nearly all of our fresh veggies and meat locally, and choose locally produced grains when they are available. Even as lower-income level Canadians we still feel buying from producers we know and keeping our dollars circulating in our community is an important part of ensuring the vibrancy of our local economy. I work at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market as our Information Coordinator. We’re a primary and secondary producer market in the Annapolis Valley, in Nova Scotia, Canada. In our 17th year we now boast over 50 vendors year round (even as the fields are covered in snow!)… Read more »