Regional food integrity
I am curious how this topic effects most chowhounds. Does "regional" have a classification for most folks? I live in an area that is told full of local artisan everything, yet very few people use these resources, which is fine, truly. Business is always more about dollar than would be let believed, bottom-line. I would love to see feed-back on what certain aspects of this are important; things noticed or apparent, things lost or needed. It's a part of the food industry that gets lost in a menu for all of us. Being able to go to the source could be more a given choice because it is actually there than most of us would let to be known. I truly believe this. How do you feel?
I'm a little unclear on what you are getting at. If you are asking if the I (we) support local farms, bakeries, or dairies the answer is a definate yes. I live for the days Tanya and I visit the local farmers markets. Do we pay a little more for the goods we buy? Often times yes. We both make a modest amount of money. Do I feel that we get a better value? Yes there too.
I hope I am understanding the direction of your post. If not , I will get with the program as this thread progresses.
re: Brandon Nelson
sorry for not being more clear. The subject matter is is one of those "how do you cut to the chase & cover some ground in short form". Something gets lost. You are right on the mark considering Farmer's markets, Brandon. I am just very curious as to the truth in some of the menu's in restaurants these days (local organic produce, range-feed beef) . . . how folks who truly care about what they eat are affected by this or if "regional" plays a part in any of this. I am asked, being in the food industry myself, what I consider regional foods/local producers. My first response is to say "what do you see growing around you? Flying above you? What's the weather like outside?" It's all food related somehow. There are so many folks out there, raising food in a healthful manner, paying close attention to the eco-system and they are lost in the attention made over highly marketed products that most of us will never know unless we pay a premium on an over-priced menu. And that's because it's "regionally-correct". But there's nothing wrong with that other than that there is good information lost, good people who could benefit. Mind-you, Farmer's Markets are where it's at, and I hope I don't sound unappreciative of this. So I'm asking opinions. I may be over my head in this, but I think it's an interesting subject. Thanks for your feedback.
re: Lucy Gore
We buy most of the food we don't grow in our little backyard organic garden at local SF health food stores, principally Rainbow and Real Food.
I'm always startled when a highly touted "Cal Cuisine" place does NOT mention using locally grown and, whenver possible, organic produce, poultry, etc.I suspect I tend unconsciously to give the benefit of the doubt to those places that do.
Even if something is locally grown and not labeled organic, I expect it to be less pesticide-ridden than produce from elsewhere just becasue of the pervasive Northern California attitude to such matters.
Since the best lamb I've eaten outside of France has been from Mendocino or Sonoma counties, I generally choose it if it's offered but avoid both NZ and Colorado lamb, which is almost always stronger than I like. I also always ask and am startled at how seldom staff knows the answer.
With the nervousness many of us feel around beef these days, I certainly feel a bit more confident ordering Nimann-Schell than brand X.
For both flavor and ecological reasons, I limit my salmon consumption to West Coast or Alaska wild. I do my utmost to avoid those varieties of fish listed by Audubon as endangered or causing pollution by their methods of production.
In other words, my love affair with food does not stop at just how sexy its presentation or how delicious its flavors; I care about its "provenance" and production methods as well. I give equal importance to issues of health, safety, labor practices, etc. and flavor. The closer to home the food's origin, the more I'm likely to know about it.
Right on Fine! That's what I'm talking about. And if you are ever up in this area of northern "most close", I can turn you on to some local growers that not only would knock your socks off for pure beauty in what mother nature could help them offer but they are awesome people who need the support, bottom-line. That's what we all strive for in this interest we have to enjoy the ultimate food experience. Mr. Leff says this himself with the woman who "turned his world" with the simplicity of her food.
I logged on for the first time to the International site, (lo & behold, THAT'S the hoopla about Simon.) and all I could think of were the markets, one after another. Not much said about this topic. No big deal, really. These folks "make their lives" by living a life-style we could learn from. Thanks for the feed back!