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You know how chefs expand to other cities and open outposts of their famous restaurants (i.e. Nobu)?

I want to see Alice Waters expand to Minneapolis. Open French Laundry II: Electric Bugaloo and deal with a 3-month growing season and an Upper Midwest winter. Until then, Alice baby, keep your yap shut about the wonderfulness of locavore cuisine.

Lisa S.

(Small pedantic food note: She's Chez Panisse. Thomas Keller is French Laundry.)

But your larger point still stands. Let's see Alice Walters in Nebraska, or Alaska, or Arkansas, or New Hampshire, or Alabama. You know -- someplace with actual weather extremes!


Aargh, thanks. I can never keep them straight.


I can't understand a lot of it, either. When I lived in Texas, the selection of locally grown food either from the Austin area or from Mexico too in the winter could make a healthy, delicious, environmentally friendly diet. Now that I'm living in Boston eating exclusively local food probably wouldn't save any energy over getting it trucked in from better growing regions, since every cute little 'farm' around here has substantial greenhouses and a lot of shuffling that goes on to deal with the short growing seasons.

I'm also disenchanted with farmers' markets. What I've seen is some feel-good event for sit-at-home moms to go out to, since they're during the day on weekdays and the emphasis is on farmy ambiance and a petting zoo. The 'farm stands' have cute banners and crates and most of the produce is labeled from California or Mexico. If you want produce that's actually grown on a local farm, you pretty much have to make a day of it since each farm has its own store, where some only sell one product like berries or corn, and they're 30+ miles out of the city.

Personally, I'd rather save energy by living in a condo in the city and not owning a car rather than pretending that a vegetable garden on a 2 acre lot in the 'burbs is the answer to all the earth's problems. I'm not going to stop trying, of course, but I get a much greater return on my time investment by doing things other than riding a 60 mile round trip so I can shuck local corn.

Jacquie F

SING IT LISA. I grew up in the Bay Area (now live in Alaska) and miss the amazing growing weather. We adapt, however. We hunt, fish, garden, and pick berries. I regret, that I am a foodie in a place where it's extremely expensive to be one. It would be nice to recognize some of these "red states" may know how to put away food too. The importance of canning, freezing or other preserving methods is as much a part of life here as the rain. Some of the best afternoons are spend drinking beer and shucking clams to can. Your idea of putting food by and trying to grow food in difficult climates is alive and well here in Sitka.

Living here has made me focus on my food and where it comes from. Recently, they started a farmers market where people with too much lettuce or sorrel or whatever can sell it to other folks. It was really great seeing all my neighbors out selling their goods. All of this takes an immense amount of time and energy. It's worthy, but if you have to work 60 hours a week, it won't get done.


I just love you so much for this post. I'm speechless with my adoration. Really.

I was volunteered to be a volunteer at Slow Food Nation and work for six hours giving food to some of of the rudest people you'll ever have the misfortune to meet. And that wasn't even the worst part. The worst part was how the (UNPAID!) volunteers were treated by SFN.

I'll be ranting about it at KQED/Bay Area Bites tomorrow and preparing for hate mail/hate comments of TWOP proportions. Because I DARE suggest that SFN isn't as miraculous and beautiful as a Jesus fart.

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