It seems to me that two similar, yet separate, issues need to be addressed here. Yes, the issue of scale facing a restaurant that wants to continue the practice of sustainability is real. As the local movement grows, food trucks to fine dining will need a sustainable growing source. These business minded folks have the intelligence, funding, and resources to achieve that goal. I applaud LLF and GrowFood for their passion and commitment to programs that promote local, healthy food. In conjunction with these wonderful organizations, I have no doubt that South Carolina can be a model of how to achieve a local, sustainable, restaurant industry.
The other issue is cost. While a sustainable restaurant industry will benefit from larger and/or more local farming options, I believe a sustainable food source for low-income families can be developed at a community level. Urban areas and food deserts need more urban farmers to provide inexpensive milk, eggs, produce and even chicken for corner stores. Poor rural areas need an outpost for local farmers to sell their goods. Programs that promote this type of community farming would have a beneficial health and economic impact.
Finally, there is no better place to begin building a sustainable, healthy, connected food community than in our schools. If we want to promote sustainability, healthy eating, locally sourced food, and opportunity, starting young is a must. Imagine the health and cost benefit of a school sourcing a mere quarter of its own food. Programs that mentor children in producing and cooking local foods will plant a seed that could produce our next generation of farmers and chefs.
Glad to read the fire was more of a minor setback than a catastrophe.
I don't understand the marketing push that "good" food is food that is locally grown. Fresh local broccoli still smells like farts and tastes like ass. Why do I want to eat trash fish and small, fragile strawberries? No, I think I'd rather have the choice chops that actually taste good from whatever geographic area has a comparative advantage in producing those products rather than the parts of locally raised animals that require lots of dressing up in the kitchen to make palatable. You can keep your tripe.
Ever notice that the food at Husk never quite tastes as good as you expected?
The problem with scaling agricultural "sustainability", is that there are far more people who want to talk about it in broad, romantic terms (or use the concept to generate media attention and celebrity) than actually give it a go. Most Americans aren't willing to live the way smallholders often do - that's why our farmland now contains plastic houses in the suburbs - and the ones that do are often happy enough feeding their own.
The actual proprietors of the small farm community were probably out working too hard to be interviewed for this article. Almost all of the families truly producing locally farmed food work other jobs to pay for their passion. They aren't especially interested in lots of money or fame, and don't really care if the rest of the world buys their lettuce from the same country as they get their t-shirts these days.
If 10% of the population learned to cook, stopped buying industrially processed foods, and didn't source meats and produce from grocery chains, then you'd have an explosion in local farming (and much lower health costs). You'd also have a quick lobby by corporate/government officials to regulate all of that in the name of safety and shut it down.
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