Toronto Life's Restaurants 2008 - worst trend list
This one made it: "Eating local. Cult-like devotion to food sourced from within 100 kilometres of the dining table can go too far, especially in a region where seasonal winter cuisine means root vegetables, apples and pickled veggies pulled out of the cellar. The locavore’s dilemma, if I can call it that, is in finding a balance between pleasure, health and environmental responsibility, especially when ingredients from the other side of the world can be fresher and have a smaller ecological footprint than the many good things that grow in Ontario. Besides, in an age where restaurants charge top dollar for their dishes, don’t patrons have a right to expect the best quality ingredients regardless of their provenance?"
Thank goodness. I felt like I was alone in the world having this opinion b/c if I dared to utter it, I got slammed and dashed by the holy-er than thou types who believe that if you don't think their way, you're just plain wrong. Of course, the author, Rob Mifsud also placed Eating Local on the top 5 best trends but I think ultimately it's about doing something in a reasonable 'happy medium' way, not with the slave-like mentality of a cult.
This kinda reminds me of an article I read a while back in the NYT called 'Locavore, Get Your Gun' about deer hunting -
<< In the traditional vernacular, we’d call that “game meat.” But, in keeping with the times, it might be better to relabel it as free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced, locally harvested, sustainable, native, low-stress, low-impact, humanely slaughtered meat. >>
Hear, hear. I agree with you.
Why can't we have a happy balance between taking advantage of the best in regional local offerings when available and top quality ingredients from beyond that ensure a total optimal pleasurable dining experience.
It seems as though the pendulum as swung too far the other way from the days when local produce/meat was ignored over items shipped from afar.