When is local not local?
Syracuse, New York, is about an hour and ten minutes north of us here in the
Binghamton, New York area. To our delight, some
Syracuse local food companies are starting to expand into our area.
But, exactly where does "local" begin?
Today, in a local supermarket (chain headquartered in upstate New York) someone was sampling Pastabilities Spicy Hot Tomato Oil.
From a co worker who lives near Syracuse, I know that this has been
around for many years, and is produced by a Syracuse restaurant. So
today, I got to try it and... it's yummy. And spicy, but not in a bad
But...it isn't made in Syracuse. Not any more. It's made in Massachusetts, which is even further away than Syracuse. Sigh.
My co-worker told me to try a different product, something called Cheeky Monkey. (This product is a tomato/garlic dipping oil-apparently, a competitor of the oil I sampled today.) Now THAT, she assured me, is locally made. It is also sold in the year round CNY Regional Market in Syracuse, which she assures me is well worth the drive.
But, it isn't sold here. And, I haven't tried it. So, I'm faced once again with the Local Food Problem:
Local product, local creators, sold here but outsourced somewhere else?
Or, local product that really is locally made but isn't available here, and I would either have to make a 1 hour journey each way, or buy mail order?
While I was mulling over the dueling tomato oil dips, I ran across a NY made pasta at the local Binghamton winter farmers market. Flour City Pasta looks to be a high quality product, and is made using heirloom grain varieties. The Winter Farmers Market promises that all goods sold have a NY connection. But New York is a large state. The problem? It is made near Rochester, a good two and a half hour drive away from us. I must admit I passed on it - it was not cheap.
Do you have any thoughts on what defines "truly local" food?
Now, I have a couple of announcements.
next Sustainable Saturday post will be this Wednesday. After that,
since I am participating in a two week long Author's blog challenge starting March 1,
my Sustainable Saturday feature (and Winter Wednesday) will go on hiatus
until after March 15. To fans of my features, I apologize, and hope you enjoy what I will be doing in March (which may include some "best of's") until I get back to my regular schedule after March 15.