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Is Eating Local Even Possible?

Aug. 26, 2007

In her latest blog, Suzi Steffen poses this rhetorical gem: Is eating local even possible?

Eating local — goat cheese from the farmers' market or eggs from my friends' chickens, vegetables and fruit as abundant as weeds — is easy right now in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley. But I want to stay as local as possible in the winter. And that desire has turned me into an ant, the workhorse of food procuring — I don’t even have time to read for pleasure anymore, except when I’m walking to the farmers' market.

It’s a good question really, and one that we preachers of the Slow gospel need to be able to answer readily. What I usually say is that of course it is, because that’s what humans have done for the entirety of their existence, save roughly the last 80 years or so. But Steffen too recognizes the lesson taught by Barbara Kingsolver in her current book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:

As Kingsolver says, “Eating locally in the winter is easy. But the time to think about that would be in August.” So it is.

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