Hyperlocal Beef - What is That?
- Bill Hunt Dec 15, 2011 08:33 PM
Just read a travel/food review, and a chef was lauded for ONLY offering "hyperlocal beef." Does that mean that the cow was raised IN the dining room, at the front door, or maybe at the back door?
If that cow was raised down the street, would that constitute "hyperlocal?"
Just how close must it be, to qualify for that term?
I have seen posts by self-described locavores, where 500 meters is about their limit - but a "hyperlocal" beef, well that must be in the next room, unless I am missing something.
Does it have to be raised in the dining room, slaughtered in the butler's pantry, and then prepared in the kitchen? Where must it be served, to get the Hyperlocal Stamp of Approval, the first floor bathroom?
To me, "local" indicates that it was sourced from that county, or a near-by county, but his is new to me.
Somehow, that was exactly what I was thinking. Now, I am a fan of chefs sourcing locally (or nearly so), and we spend a good bit of time at a place, where the restaurants do pick from their farm, just across the way, but then there is the marketing aspect. They (the place that I am referring to) do not make a big deal of it, unless one takes a garden-tour. Then the details are shared.
When it comes to beef, pork, or lamb, they try to source from near-by, but that can be 100 miles, such as with the lamb. This places's lamb is for wool and dairy only - now, the sheep's milk cheeses are to die for, and ARE local. From our cabin, we drive right by the sheep barn, on our way to the restaurant.
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This all reminds me of the old Scandinavian folktale about the husband and wife who switched jobs for a day because the husband thought the wife had the easier task. Of course he messes everything up because he didn't realize how hard it was - and one of his bad decisions is to pasture the cow on the (thatched) roof.
"Just how close must it be, to qualify for that term?"
However close the review writer would like it to be to justify such a sill and pretentious remark.
I'm more than happy to see restaurants indicate the provenance of their ingredients. In the UK, farmers markets which are members of the National Association of Farmers Markets regulate themselves to a 30 mile radius and that's the sort of "local" that I regard as "local".
Thirty miles does it for me, but then it seems that there are now "degrees" of "local," and I wonder where that will end?
In Hawai`i, "local" usually means "from the Islands," and that is good enough for me.
If the garden is down the road, I am fine. If the shepherd is a few miles away, I understand. Should the hog farmer be in the next county, no problem.
The question, "Just how close must it be, to qualify for that term?" was mine, as there was no indication of the allowable distance - feet, yards, miles... ?
I just worry that some might be caught up in a purely marketing ploy, and not be concerned with the ultimate quality of the fare - but I am probably wrong - right?