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(NPR)   "Locavores" outraged that demanding their favorite fancy restaurant serve only grass-pastured, free-range, organic, local meat sometimes means their favorite menu options aren't available   (npr.org) divider line 97
    More: Dumbass, foraging, industrial agriculture, ranches  
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5034 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 May 2014 at 1:17 PM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-05 11:43:20 AM
And on a recent Thursday night in Pittsburgh, diners were gobbling up the Oregon rib-eyes.

John Hill and Jessica Shoemaker were visiting Legume for the first time, and they ordered rib-eye. "It was beautiful. It was so tender. It literally melted in my mouth," Shoemaker said.

So, did it matter that the steak took an airplane to get to Pittsburgh?

"I definitely think that local sustainability is something that's important, but a good cut of meat is a good cut of meat," she said.


OUTRAGE
 
2014-05-05 11:49:58 AM
Customers so outraged they could not be quoted for the article.
 
2014-05-05 12:48:01 PM
What do locavores eat in New York in the winter? There is only so much rat one human can take.
 
2014-05-05 12:51:56 PM
Is it USDA organic, Oregon organic?
 
2014-05-05 01:00:23 PM

EvilEgg: What do locavores eat in New York in the winter? There is only so much rat one human can take.


There's still all that wonderful stray cat meat in Chinatown.
 
2014-05-05 01:20:44 PM
images.amcnetworks.com
 
2014-05-05 01:21:03 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: EvilEgg: What do locavores eat in New York in the winter? There is only so much rat one human can take.

There's still all that wonderful stray cat meat in Chinatown.


And plenty of pigeons for squab
 
2014-05-05 01:21:03 PM
I get this complaint a fair amount, actually. Up until folks realize that some things aren't available in winter, and then suddenly, they lose their locally sourced hipsterism.

Don't get me wrong: as a chef, I WANT to do as much locally sourced produce and meats, and cheeses. It adds variety, it is good for the local economy, it's good for my customer base, and it is a selling point. But likewise, there are times when you can get produce that is coming into season elsewhere that's damn hard to pass up. It's good for those markets as well, and when doing your purchasing, you have to be aware not just of price point, but what impact you're having on those other markets. One reason for fair trade coffee is that I know that the producers are getting a decent price. I use local farms, because I know the folks involved. I use local purveyors for most of my stuff, because the relationships are important. I trust my meat guys. I've seen the facilities, I know their butchers, I know their salesmen, and maintaining those sorts of relationships is important. The same with the farms I bring in. I invest in shares of the harvest, which gives them cash to draw upon, and in return, I get a percentage of the harvest. As it becomes available. That gives me amazingly fresh and ripe produce, at the peak of their season, and without a middle man to gouge us both. I DO use produce distributor for some other stuff, and what I bring in, isn't being done in this market, and I know their people well. They know that I'll reject stuff that isn't right, and rather than truck out produce that they KNOW will be sent back, and not paid for, and the loss of the gas, they tend to get it right the first time, and when stuff does become available from their sources, they clue me in on what they're getting deals on.

It's not just about the local economy--though, that is an important part of it--it's about building up relationships between folks.

I will say, that the Pioneer Valley is an enviable place for a beef, for chicken, for pork, fish, some amazing dairy farms, and produce from asparagus to apples and more. And certainly for beer and maple products by the load. I am not going to knock Oregon, but for my money, I'd rather invest in local beef, and even local ostrich and buffalo. Yes, Western Mass has ostrich farms, and a whole lot of folks raising buffalo. You try to go local when you can, because the price points tend to even out--shipping cost, versus slightly higher local price. I worked a BBQ joint years ago, the owner shipped in his beef  ribs from California, and wondered why in the heck he could never break even. Within a week, I found a purveyor, who was local, who had beautiful ribs on a regular basis, and oddly enough, or food cost plummeted as a result. Going local is a good way to invest in your community, and that means that everyone benefits. Your farmers have more cash, you have their good will, and they'll certainly suggest who is using their stuff. Going local isn't just about hipster bullsh*t, it's about creating relationships between businesses.

The customers? They care about that a bit. But not in the same sense that the folks who are actually putting out the food do. Consumers tend to just want, and it's their desires that shape the markets. Which is why the food landscape demands fresh OJ, even in the middle of winter. Why cranberry juice is available everywhere. Why you get berries in fresh all year long. Customer demand drives stores and restaurants to make choices on what to carry, based on that demand. I have several friends who try to do their menus seasonally, and there are constant complaints that folks can't get their favorites all year long. Which is sort of the point of doing it that way. We used to look forward to produce coming into season. In New England, we're just cresting into fiddlehead season, and it will be gone before you know it. Apples aren't going to be in for a bit, and local berries are just starting to bud. That's what local produce teaches: the value of those seasons. Well, that and the power of a damn greenhouse if you can get it rolling early enough...
 
2014-05-05 01:21:18 PM
The idea of locally grown being better in any way is a lie.
 
2014-05-05 01:21:22 PM
"It was beautiful. It was so tender. It literally melted in my mouth," Shoemaker said.


Literally? That's kind of weird.
 
2014-05-05 01:22:12 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: EvilEgg: What do locavores eat in New York in the winter? There is only so much rat one human can take.

There's still all that wonderful stray cat meat in Chinatown.


"The cat's on the menu at the Peking Moon. . ."
 
2014-05-05 01:22:48 PM
*Hands the locavores some rifles, deer tags, ammo, blaze orange, and hunting permits, points them to the forest.* You want free-range organic meat? Have fun. Remember to hang it by the front legs when gutting, and hang in a tree for a day to allow the blood to drain off.
 
2014-05-05 01:22:59 PM
This some kind of Spanish group?
 
2014-05-05 01:24:53 PM

EvilEgg: What do locavores eat in New York in the winter? There is only so much rat one human can take.


i279.photobucket.com
/worth noting, he finished that burger.
 
2014-05-05 01:25:29 PM
In Indiana, the meth is local and made fresh every day.
 
2014-05-05 01:25:53 PM
Locavore used to be the norm for starving people who didn't have access to the rest of the world.
 
2014-05-05 01:26:14 PM
When the wife and I go to the local Farm to Table place, if they are out of something, I understand. If they have something that isn't local because of availability, I again understand. Its not the end of the world. As long as I like what I order, who really gives a shiat. People's 'outrage' over trivial stuff amuses me.
 
2014-05-05 01:26:23 PM
Getting locally-grown seafood must be tough in Kansas.
 
2014-05-05 01:27:26 PM
I always buy my local vegetables at farmer's markets. Which means my vegetables were purchased from the same supplier to my local supermarkets or bought at a discount for spoilage or salvaged from dumpsters behind the supplier or the supermarkets.

Or grown in god knows what kind of soil using who knows what kind of chemicals...
 
2014-05-05 01:28:01 PM
"It's like, 'This is our anniversary. Why is your only meat option kielbasa today?'

Frikkin yinzer hunkies.
 
2014-05-05 01:29:19 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Or grown in god knows what kind of soil using who knows what kind of chemicals...


All natural nightsoil! Guaranteed!
 
2014-05-05 01:30:26 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: In Indiana, the meth is local and made fresh every day.


Yeah, but where was the Sudafed made?  Hmmmm?
 
2014-05-05 01:30:42 PM
Breaking News:  Most people are whiny biatches, just jumping on the bandwagon, and not thinking their decisions through.
 
2014-05-05 01:32:43 PM

CheekyMonkey: Breaking News:  Most people are whiny biatches, just jumping on the bandwagon, and not thinking their decisions through.


Came here to say pretty much this.

Which means, in a sense, that I am jumping on the bandwagon.
 
2014-05-05 01:36:11 PM

hubiestubert: That's what local produce teaches: the value of those seasons.


i think some markets pay closer attention to the seasons than others.  I feel like it is more likely to hear someone say it's X season (X = some food like crab, creole tomatoe, or satsuma) then it is to hear it's spring or summer or winter.  and whenever some thing is in season, everyone goes dumb for it.  not a hipster thing.
 
2014-05-05 01:37:07 PM

airsupport: CheekyMonkey: Breaking News:  Most people are whiny biatches, just jumping on the bandwagon, and not thinking their decisions through.

Came here to say pretty much this.

Which means, in a sense, that I am jumping on the bandwagon.


These guys seem cool. I agree with them.
 
2014-05-05 01:38:26 PM

hubiestubert: I get this complaint a fair amount, actually. Up until folks realize that some things aren't available in winter, and then suddenly, they lose their locally sourced hipsterism.

Don't get me wrong: as a chef, I WANT to do as much locally sourced produce and meats, and cheeses. It adds variety, it is good for the local economy, it's good for my customer base, and it is a selling point. But likewise, there are times when you can get produce that is coming into season elsewhere that's damn hard to pass up. It's good for those markets as well, and when doing your purchasing, you have to be aware not just of price point, but what impact you're having on those other markets. One reason for fair trade coffee is that I know that the producers are getting a decent price. I use local farms, because I know the folks involved. I use local purveyors for most of my stuff, because the relationships are important. I trust my meat guys. I've seen the facilities, I know their butchers, I know their salesmen, and maintaining those sorts of relationships is important. The same with the farms I bring in. I invest in shares of the harvest, which gives them cash to draw upon, and in return, I get a percentage of the harvest. As it becomes available. That gives me amazingly fresh and ripe produce, at the peak of their season, and without a middle man to gouge us both. I DO use produce distributor for some other stuff, and what I bring in, isn't being done in this market, and I know their people well. They know that I'll reject stuff that isn't right, and rather than truck out produce that they KNOW will be sent back, and not paid for, and the loss of the gas, they tend to get it right the first time, and when stuff does become available from their sources, they clue me in on what they're getting deals on.

It's not just about the local economy--though, that is an important part of it--it's about building up relationships between folks.

I will say, that the Pioneer Valley is an enviable pl ...


The Town I live in , Leesburg Va is a tiny one (40,000 pop-mostly in the housing developments at the edges of town) about 35 miles outside of DC, that for reasons inexplicable hosts about 10-12 truly first class restaurants in a short radius of town (with 5 stellar ones in the tiny little downtown alone)   Honestly, moving here was fist real experience with "farm to table" eating because the town is just outside of the part of norther Va that has been dominated by development, so within a 5 min drive you can still find Vineyards, Dairy Farms beef cattle operations, lamb goat and and pig farms etc (We also have an awesome weekly farmer's market year round).

It was never a big thing to me before, but having tasted it's something I look for now.    Yes it is annoying not to get your favorite dish at a particular restaurant, but it also gives you a nice connection to the land and the older rhythms of life  when you can look at a calendar in February and know lamb and asparagus are coming back on the menu, or that in high summer your favorite salad won;t be available under the weather cools again in Oct.

  It's also cool because the local restaurants even Identify the particular farm an ingredient came from, so you can search them out at the local farmer's market (farmer appreciate it a lot when you say you've had something they produce and loved it, made a lot of friendships that way) and maybe even sign up for their CSA
 
2014-05-05 01:41:09 PM

I May Be Crazy But...: airsupport: CheekyMonkey: Breaking News:  Most people are whiny biatches, just jumping on the bandwagon, and not thinking their decisions through.

Came here to say pretty much this.

Which means, in a sense, that I am jumping on the bandwagon.

These guys seem cool. I agree with them.


Ugh.  That's sooooo 5-posts-ago.  I've changed my opinion to one you guys have probably never heard of.
 
2014-05-05 01:41:56 PM

Yogimus: The idea of locally grown being better in any way is a lie.


except, ya know in that whole "Using less energy to go from field to table so we don;t all end up drowned from rising sea levels" way, or that " can get riper produce because time from harvest to market is much smaller" way   or even that "small scale operations tend to avoid some of the most horrific of the factory farming techniques" way


but other than that, not difference at all
 
2014-05-05 01:42:55 PM

Magorn: that for reasons inexplicable hosts about 10-12 truly first class restaurants


Uh...there's some nice spots in Leesburg, sure, but I'd be curious to see this list of a dozen "truly first class" restaurants.
 
2014-05-05 01:44:51 PM

Magorn: Yogimus: The idea of locally grown being better in any way is a lie.

except, ya know in that whole "Using less energy to go from field to table so we don;t all end up drowned from rising sea levels" way, or that " can get riper produce because time from harvest to market is much smaller" way   or even that "small scale operations tend to avoid some of the most horrific of the factory farming techniques" way


but other than that, not difference at all


Not to mention the whole "can get varieties that don't ship well" thing...
 
2014-05-05 01:46:04 PM
Locovores - are they like luchadores, only crazier?
th03.deviantart.net
 
2014-05-05 01:48:13 PM
If you're only option for local beef is Ranch-To-Table and buying a whole cow, I think that says more about the current state of beef production and distribution in America more than anything. I live in an area of Canada that isn't exactly known for beef production, but there are enough cattle farms in the area that I can go to one of several independent butchers any day of the week, any time of the year, and get local beef. Same goes for chicken, pork, etc.

There is still a lot of agriculture in this Province but it isn't one of the dominant ones in the country.
 
2014-05-05 01:48:42 PM

Magorn: Yogimus: The idea of locally grown being better in any way is a lie.

except, ya know in that whole "Using less energy to go from field to table so we don;t all end up drowned from rising sea levels" way, or that " can get riper produce because time from harvest to market is much smaller" way   or even that "small scale operations tend to avoid some of the most horrific of the factory farming techniques" way


but other than that, not difference at all


The idea of local being better for the environment is a myth.
 
2014-05-05 01:49:45 PM

Magorn: except, ya know in that whole "Using less energy to go from field to table so we don;t all end up drowned from rising sea levels" way, or that " can get riper produce because time from harvest to market is much smaller" way   or even that "small scale operations tend to avoid some of the most horrific of the factory farming techniques" way


but other than that, not difference at all


We should acknowledge that while local small-scale farming CAN have a lower overall environmental footprint, it isn't always guaranteed.
 
2014-05-05 01:54:07 PM

hubiestubert: In New England, we're just cresting into fiddlehead season


Spent the weekend picking those and digging ramps. Also put in a few more rows of raspberry bushes in the back 5.

Fiddleheads to last all year:

Rinse in a deep sink of cold water and let soak and agitate them to get brown frondlings and dirt and sand out.
Make sure you have a couple of inches under the floating mass to let the dirt fall down.
Lift the soaked, cleaned fiddle heads into a large colander and let them drain while to get your large pots boiling.
In small batches, like 5 pounds each, drop in boiling water and shock for a minute, then remove and shock in ice bath.
Drain again, and pop into breadbags and freeze until you are ready to use.
Thaw for salads or sautee'

Protip, bit of baking soda in the water (hot and cold) cuts the tannic acid from the brown frondlings, too.
 
2014-05-05 01:57:08 PM

Pocket Ninja: Magorn: that for reasons inexplicable hosts about 10-12 truly first class restaurants

Uh...there's some nice spots in Leesburg, sure, but I'd be curious to see this list of a dozen "truly first class" restaurants.


My list?

Lightfoot
Wine Kitchen
Cajun Experience
Tuscarora Mill
Chimole
Fireworks
Vintage 50 (the two other brewpubs in town for the beer? yes for the food? not so much)_
Ironwood Tavern
Blue Ridge Grill
Eiffel Tower Cafe
La Lou Bistro
and in  slightly larger area I would throw in:
Grand El Farms


*(Chris Cooley's Reaturant to be named later-based on who he is hiring etc may also rate inclusion when it's done)

Note I don;t include any of the three on main street that share the one kitchen (Colonial In Mzzaluna or the new steak place) nor any of those near Wegman's since while they are nice they are high-end chain places, so not quite "first class"...)
 
2014-05-05 01:58:16 PM

hubiestubert: as a chef, I WANT to do as much locally sourced produce and meats, and cheeses. It adds variety, it is good for the local economy, it's good for my customer base, and it is a selling point. But likewise, there are times when you can get produce that is coming into season elsewhere that's damn hard to pass up. It's good for those markets as well, and when doing your purchasing, you have to be aware not just of price point, but what impact you're having on those other markets.



yeah, an acquaintance on Fark owns a restaurant, and we had this discussion.  he would like to use local meats but for reasons he could orate better than i, he trucks his stuff in from about 700-1000 miles away because that, while costly, still beats the costs he would bear with local products.  he gets organic / free range product from several states (and probably two time zones) over that he would love to get locally, but the market just isn't "there" yet.
 
2014-05-05 01:59:46 PM

entropic_existence: Magorn: except, ya know in that whole "Using less energy to go from field to table so we don;t all end up drowned from rising sea levels" way, or that " can get riper produce because time from harvest to market is much smaller" way   or even that "small scale operations tend to avoid some of the most horrific of the factory farming techniques" way


but other than that, not difference at all

We should acknowledge that while local small-scale farming CAN have a lower overall environmental footprint, it isn't always guaranteed.


true, thus the use of the word "tends to"  but even if the local place is as bad as the industrial one, it's still a simple fact that tossing it on a truck and driving it 5 miles to the destination uses far less energy than trucking it 500 miles or  even flying it in, putting it on a rail car and then trucking it 50 miles to its final destination
 
2014-05-05 02:04:30 PM
Magorn:

Hmmm..

Lightfoot: Been years since I've been there, nothing stands out in my memory.
Wine Kitchen: Haven't been there, but have heard good things. 
Cajun Experience: Don't know it, will give it a look next time I'm in town.
Tuscarora Mill: Used to go here all the time, but feel like it's been slipping a lot. I have the same opinion of Magnolia's in P-ville
Chimole: Don't know it, will try.
Fireworks: BEST PIZZA EVAR
Vintage 50 (the two other brewpubs in town for the beer? yes for the food? not so much)_: Meh. The beer is good, usually, but it's no more than overpriced bar food. 
Ironwood Tavern: Don't know it. 
Blue Ridge Grill: Meh.
Eiffel Tower Cafe: Double meh.
La Lou Bistro: Don't know it. 
and in  slightly larger area I would throw in:
Grand El Farms:
Do you mean Grandale? If so, yes...very good, definitely 4-5 star and really a look at what a true farm-to-table place looks like. At least it was when I ate there, several years ago.
 
2014-05-05 02:07:58 PM
Nothing beats going to a "Seafood Restaurant" in Florida, and having a choice of tilapia, pollock, cod or "whitefish". Although, to be fair, some tilapia is produced on farms locally, in central Florida.
 
2014-05-05 02:09:42 PM

Kit Fister: *Hands the locavores some rifles, deer tags, ammo, blaze orange, and hunting permits, points them to the forest.* You want free-range organic meat? Have fun. Remember to hang it by the front legs when gutting, and hang in a tree for a day to allow the blood to drain off.


All the instructions I've seen said to do the field dressing right there at the kill site, and to hang by the back legs later to help make sure the blood all drains out properly and none of the meat goes bad. Is this wrong? I've not yet hunted.
 
2014-05-05 02:19:09 PM

EvilEgg: What do locavores eat in New York in the winter?


Maybe someone can do a Fark breakdown for me.  A "locavore" is someone who only (or preferentially) eats food that was produced locally, right?  Ok, but why?  What's the rational?  Is is supposed to be better for the environment?  Or is the some reason why you want your money to only go to people who live within X miles of your house?  Or what?  I mean, no matter how stupid it may ultimately be, there still has to be some sort of logic or reasoning behind it.

Or, is it really not as stupid as it sounds?  Is it better for the environment or does it actually improve the local economy in some measurable way, or just generally, is there any real evidence that it has a tangible benefit for anybody?

I read the Wikipedia article but it seemed to basically say simply "They think it's better for the environment but it really isn't."  Is that the whole story in a nutshell?
 
2014-05-05 02:23:12 PM

Pocket Ninja: Magorn: that for reasons inexplicable hosts about 10-12 truly first class restaurants

Uh...there's some nice spots in Leesburg, sure, but I'd be curious to see this list of a dozen "truly first class" restaurants.


I'm also getting a kick out of "a tiny one (40,000 pop-".  Small-town boy, right there.
 
2014-05-05 02:24:40 PM

Magorn: Leesburg Va is a tiny one (40,000 pop-mostly in the housing developments at the edges of town) about 35 miles outside of DC, that for reasons inexplicable hosts about 10-12 truly first class restaurants in a short radius of town


It's the most populous town in the most well off county in the US.
 
2014-05-05 02:25:26 PM

Mrs.Sharpier: "It was beautiful. It was so tender. It literally melted in my mouth," Shoemaker said.

Literally? That's kind of weird.


You haven't lived until you've had Ribeye M&M's.
 
2014-05-05 02:29:02 PM
As someone who lives near downtown Pittsburgh, I support this Chef's efforts to keep it local and in turn keep local folks employed. I also applaud him for being honest "If you want steak in February the way we normally prepare, it isn't coming from Pittsburgh" and getting it form somewhere else.

Locavore-living is a great concept and I try to support local businesses and farmer's markets; however, I agree with folks who recognize that unless you live in the right climate, it may not be sustainable. There is a degradation in food quality when you're shipping from so far away in some cases (Starfuit I'm looking at you!), but not in all cases.
 
2014-05-05 02:31:04 PM

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: It's the most populous town in the most well off county in the US.


Not only that, it's one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Northern Virginia. And we're not too long from the day when Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, and Purcelville simply merge into a vast megaplex of cul-de-sacs and strip malls.
 
2014-05-05 02:32:23 PM

Pocket Ninja: Magorn:

Hmmm..

Lightfoot: Been years since I've been there, nothing stands out in my memory.
Wine Kitchen: Haven't been there, but have heard good things. 
Cajun Experience: Don't know it, will give it a look next time I'm in town.
Tuscarora Mill: Used to go here all the time, but feel like it's been slipping a lot. I have the same opinion of Magnolia's in P-ville
Chimole: Don't know it, will try.
Fireworks: BEST PIZZA EVAR
Vintage 50 (the two other brewpubs in town for the beer? yes for the food? not so much)_: Meh. The beer is good, usually, but it's no more than overpriced bar food. 
Ironwood Tavern: Don't know it. 
Blue Ridge Grill: Meh.
Eiffel Tower Cafe: Double meh.
La Lou Bistro: Don't know it. 
and in  slightly larger area I would throw in:
Grand El Farms: Do you mean Grandale? If so, yes...very good, definitely 4-5 star and really a look at what a true farm-to-table place looks like. At least it was when I ate there, several years ago.


For Vintage you need to go into the actual dining room.  Completely different menu than the pub area.  Ironwood is realtively new, it's in the Wal Mart Shopping center where the old Chinese Bffet used to be, it was something else that came and failed really quickly and then became ironwood, which is heavy on steaks and chops.

Chimole is BRAND NEW, it's a Tapa place mixed with an art gallery  right across from the courthouse.
Wine Kitchen is AWESOME but seating is extremely limited.  The whole place seat no more than 20 plus maybe 5-7 more at the bar.    Reservations are a very good idea there.

Tuskies and Magnolia are run by the same guy, haven;t been in a long time myself either so if one is slipping stands to reason the other is (wife got sick after mother's day dinner at magnolia so we've avoided both for a long time, not so much worried about the food as triggering unpleasant memories and putting her off her appetite)

Never knew you were a local.   Hopefully will buy you a beer someday
 
2014-05-05 02:33:12 PM

picturescrazy: Kit Fister: *Hands the locavores some rifles, deer tags, ammo, blaze orange, and hunting permits, points them to the forest.* You want free-range organic meat? Have fun. Remember to hang it by the front legs when gutting, and hang in a tree for a day to allow the blood to drain off.

All the instructions I've seen said to do the field dressing right there at the kill site, and to hang by the back legs later to help make sure the blood all drains out properly and none of the meat goes bad. Is this wrong? I've not yet hunted.


Not necessarily wrong, I'm just lazy. I hang 'em by the front legs so the guts just fall out the bottom. But you're right, hanging by the back legs and draining through the neck is the right way to go.
 
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