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Locavores prefer their food to grow close to home

By Howard B. Owens

A friend introduced me to the term "locavore" a couple of weeks ago. It stuck with me because being a bit of "locavore" was something my wife and I were already mostly doing without knowing there was a word for it or that it was a trend. The furthest thing from our mind was the environmental benefits. We just think locally produced bread, meat, milk and veggies taste better and last longer.

This week, McClatchy/Tribune news service has a story out on locavores. You can read it here.

Last month, Lenae Weichel embarked on an ambitious dietary experiment: to feed her family for a year with food produced within 100 miles of her Rockford, Ill., home.

Inspired by a Vancouver couple who wrote a book on their ‘‘100-mile diet,’’ she joined a community-supported agriculture program, visited her local farmers market and started growing fruits and vegetables in her backyard.

Weichel, 33, is an extreme example of a vibrant movement of ‘‘locavores,’’ or consumers who try to shorten the distance between their food and its origin, largely from a desire to eat fresher produce, support their local farmers and reduce the carbon pollution associated with transporting goods. Only a few set 100 miles as a strict limit; others might just seek produce from the Midwest. But eating locally grown food, an idea once limited to hard-core environmentalists, is gaining traction among mainstream consumers. Already the movement has inspired a slew of books, prompted restaurants to use local food as a selling point and established ‘‘locavore’’ as the Word of the Year for 2007, according to the Oxford American Dictionary.

So, if you're a locavore in Genesee County, where do you go for produce, milk, bread and meat?  The Batavian would like to find out more about these businesses.  What other locally produced goods and crafts do you prefer to buy from local merchants?

Darrick Coleman

Another fantastically written book about the movement is Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". I would also recommend any of Michael Pollan's food based books. Pollan's books give you the reason to eat locally, Kingsolver's book gives you the road map. All of these books are available at your locally owned/operated book store, Present Tense Books at 101 Washington Ave in Batavia (

As for the question of meat, bread, and milk. Since my family has started eating locally we have been getting venison from our extended family of hunters. Venison is the best meat you can eat as it is 100% organic and the deer have a much better/natural lifestyle than any cattle you can buy. As for bread, we bought a bread machine and make our own; you can't beat walking into a house with homemade bread baking. As for milk, your local grocery store already has locally produced milk as long as you only buy Upstate Farms dairy which also includes the Wendt's, and Bison labels. (

Aug 13, 2008, 10:15am Permalink

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