Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Localvore - A New Trend?

Around my neck of the woods, I am almost relieved to see the word "green" not so prominent in the news.  But, oh but, I'm starting to get sick of the increasingly used term "localvore". What's a localvore? Supposedly someone who's diet is obtained locally. That word "local" can have a vast range of interpretation. 

So what's local anyway? Happily for me, much of my food comes from my own place or somewhere within 10 miles of home. That's pretty local in my book! But how local is local for most people, the ones who don't grow their own? Would it be your town and outlying farm area? Or is it ok to include adjacent town areas? Maybe your state or region? But if your state is large, say Texas or California, would it be a stretch to say that someone in San Diego is a localvore eating food produced beside the Oregon boundary? 

Ooooo,here it goes again. I feel a headache coming on. Advil, aspirin, shot of whiskey. Where are those dang bottles! Help! 

I gather that depending upon who I talk with and in what situation, the idea of localvore can vary greatly. A person will say that they are trying to be a localvore meaning that their food comes from Ka'u district. But the next person (and the local news media here) seems to mean any food produced on Big Island. But get the Honolulu news media involved, and localvore will mean anything produced in the entire state. Now I'm seeing things stretching because imported foods are being mixed in with local stuff and still being called localvore menu. Just how much non-local food can a chef add to the dish and still say its local? 

<<<<<popping more Advil>>>>>>

Do I call myself a localvore? Answer, a flat no. First of all, it's not my personal mission to eat 100% local sourced. My goal is to be fairly self reliant, but that does not equate to being localvore. I could be self reliant by trading my surplus for outside goods. And that's exactly what I sometimes do. (Now if I could only get Costco into my trading network. Wouldn't that be something!) But I am still buying certain things from the stores, who in turn ship the stuff in. Plus I'm still working on food I had stashed away.......stores of canned corn, chicken broth, V-8 juice, and other assorted canned items. And I have no plan on discontinuing my enjoyment of eating almonds, cashews, pretzels, rice, applesauce, noodles, assorted herbs, and crackers. I no longer use much of these store bought items (other than the nuts) and I don't feel the least bit guilty eating it. 

But why be interested in being a localvore? Guess there's lots of reasons. First, it could be one of those lifestyle diet fads people love to get hooked on --- raw, low carb, gluten free (though actual gluten allergies are rare), vegetarian, vegan, paleo, Scarsdale, The Zone, etc. Second, it could be a life philosophy. More and more young people are getting into permaculture and biodynamic life schemes, which being a localvore would be a logical next step. Third, some people believe in supporting their community and being "local". Thus eating only local foods would be part of that. 

I suspect that being a localvore on the mainland would be a bit more challenging or boring as opposed to here in Hawaii. The wide selection of foods that we are now use to eating would be off limits. One would need to can, dry, or freeze seasonal foodstuffs for later use. And if those stored items ran out before the next season, you'd simply have to do without. Not a disaster by any means. I recall that as a child many fresh fruits and vegetables were seasonal. It was a fact of life and not a hardship. And in a way it was delightful, making certain foods a special treat. Oh how I looked forward to fresh blueberry season! And fresh strawberries always meant strawberry shortcake for a special treat. 


  1. I hate it when those kinds of terms become trendy. Seems to take the true meaning out of it for the sake of throwing it around to be cool. We even have a locovores club in our area. These folks supposedly only eat local! But I agree with your question about defining "local." Also around here, it's defined as within about 100 miles. Personally, I like our homestead definition. Local is within 100 feet!

    Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It's an interesting must read for anyone interesting in both local and seasonal eating.

  2. I haven't seen that book yet, but I think I'll go track it down. Thanks for the tip!

  3. My solution to using so much aspirin was to stop watching the idiots on the news. They have no clue and read from scripts anyway.