HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Hyperlocal Beef - What is That?

  • 26
  • Share

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.

Just curious,

Hunt

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. It's hyper-marketing to justify hyper-prices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      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.

      Hunt

    2. Sounds like an attempt to raise beef in an area too small for a single cow or bull.

      1. I'm sure that it means beef that was conceived on the grounds of the restaurant, or maybe even in the dining room.

        1 Reply
        1. re: EWSflash

          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.

          http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/norway010.html

        2. "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".

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            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?

            Hunt

          2. Maybe it was only fed locally grown grain? Assuming a grain-finished beef.

            1. Beef so local that it needs medical treatment.

              1. If this catches on, bad news for urban dwellers. The only hyperlocal meat in my 'hood is shih tzu, or perhaps squirrel.

                4 Replies
                1. re: tcamp

                  Would that be the bushy-tailed urban squirrel, or the smooth tail variety?

                  This opens up new vistas on the idea of local sourcing of ingredients.

                  1. re: johnb

                    Both, I guess, if you're referring to urban smooth tailed 'squirrel.'

                    1. re: johnb

                      Now, I have dined at a few French, and also UK restaurants, where I have seen a chef (executive, sous, etc.) out front, feeding the pigeons during the day, only to see pigeon on the menu that night...

                      Hunt

                    2. re: tcamp

                      Not being a real "urban-dweller," I had not really thought about that. I see the point. UGH!

                      Hunt

                    3. Oh, I have enjoyed this thread! I do wonder how 'hyperlocal' would translate in Australia? Given that quite often you can say "I'm just off up the road", which is actually a few hundred kilometres away. Hyperlocal would probably somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region for us...

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: TheHuntress

                        I have some similar thoughts, as I have lived in the US West for a few decades. Distances are relative, though not up to OZ standards. Still, "local" can mean a 5 hour drive, depending on traffic. In the Eastern US, towns are about 0.5 mi. between, so things ARE very different.

                        Hunt

                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Well something that does spring to my mind in this context is that where I used to live, the Kimberely region (imagine the furthest north-west corner of Australia) had a very fruitful farming area about 900 kilometers to the north-east of us (which, given our remoteness, was just down the road). The produce from this region was trucked approximately 3400 kilometres to the capital city (where I now happen to reside) where it was sorted in the major supermarkets warehouses prior to being trucked back 2500 kilometres north to our small town. You can imagine the quality of that fruit and veg by the time it got to us and no matter how hard the town tried to arrange for produce to be trucked direct from this area straight to us, supermarkets refused. So while the produce was still local to our region it still travelled a huge distance to get to us.

                          1. re: TheHuntress

                            The vastness of Australia only emphasises the nonsense of the supermarkets "regional warehousing" strategy but I'm sure it's common in most countries. Certainly was when I worked for the Co-operative Wholesale Society in the UK in the early 1980s.

                            I can walk to our nearest major supermarket in about 15 minutes. Another 10 would bring me to a local tomato grower which supplies the supermarket - but I bet you the tomatoes come via the regional, or possibly national, warehouse whereever that might be.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Couldn't agree more, Harters, it truly was sublime ridiculousness. These days, being back in the city and in a region of a wonderful Mediterranean clime, we get our produce delivered farmer direct. This is considered to be local produce as it is all from within our state, but here in Western Australia we are the largest state (consisting of some 2,645,615 km2), so food may still have to travel a considerable distance. A few restaurants in the area really do produce much of their offerings (with one fellow going so far as to establish his own truffle farm!), but I would be interested to see if the term "hyperlocal" crops up here. I shall be watching :D

                              1. re: Harters

                                Why doesn't the tomato grower spend half his day driving around to all the area groceries delivering his tomatoes. And doesn't the grocery produce manager spend half his day receiving deliveries from the tomato guy, the eggplant grower, the onion seller (on his bike with garlands of onions around his neck), the egg lady, etc.?

                                1. re: Harters

                                  It strikes me as curious that people from England, Australia, and USA can talk about whether tomatoes should travel 15 minutes or 3000 km. At the same time I just fixed supper; toad in a hole using German style sausages from California, dry milk from Chile, eggs and flour from who knows where, with a side of English cucumber from Mexico with humus dip, French brie with Canadian pepper jelly. And frozen pains aux raisins from France for dessert.

                          2. The Independent had an article on the 'hyperlocal' concept:

                            " 'Hyperlocal' is set to become the new buzzword in gastronomy ... It refers to the increasing number of 'hyperlocal' commercial establishments around the globe that grow their own produce on site ... Restaurants growing food on their own premises is seen as a step on from the so-called 'Locavore' movement which started in the middle of the 21st century's first decade and encouraged restaurateurs and consumers to only purchase products brought within a 100-mile radius. "
                            http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: drongo

                              Thank you for that.

                              We spend a bunch of time at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN, and they do grow much of their produce on-site, along with producing their own sheep's milk cheeses. They also try to source other products from "near-by," but that might translate to 200 miles, depending.

                              Still, I would not expect to see beef on-the-hoof, right outside one of their restaurant's doors. Heck, even their trout comes from about 60 miles away, and not from the stream right outside.

                              Thanks for sharing that. To me, I feel that the "buzz-word" concept is very, very close, and might replace "organic" in no time, at all.

                              Hunt

                            2. Sounds like they kept the cow in their backyard!

                              1. hahaha - marketing at its best. Here it would most likely mean I hit one of the local ranchers (who promotes local, but never shuts his gates, and his effing cows are ALWAYS STANDING IN THE ROAD!!) cows and served it for dinner. After proper curing in my shed. :)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: natrldsastr

                                  Whew, thought for a second there that you were curing and serving up the rancher. Yes, if I include neighbors, hyperlocal is, in fact, quite doable.