"Changing the Face of Local Foods" was the theme for this three day event that I've attended. Tons of local food producers, chefs, hot granola chicks, tree huggers, hippies, you name it were there. I met some fantastic people that are working incredibly hard to change the way we consume food and treat the land.
Sustainability was the word of the day around there! It impresses me to no end of what it takes to change the world we live in. Seems to me that in order to help stop the abundance of fossil fuels and the stripping of our land, we as chefs really have some work to do.
My first thought after speaking to the farmers was the cost. How are we supposed to afford to offer all these great local things to our customers if it costs sometimes more than 3 times that of something we can get from California or Chili!? The answer I hear a lot is, "HOW CAN WE NOT AFFORD IT!?" If we keep up what we are doing now with buying from the lowest bidder, we'll run out of gas, land and water before the end of our lives! It takes more energy to ship that stuff here from California than it does to grow it here! Think about our children! We've pissed away everything to feed us gluttons and this is where we've ended up. Now, we're scrambling around trying to "fix" our mess.
Check out the pics of my trip. A few garden tours and some still life, good stuff :) Seems this sort of thing is being brought to me often lately. Were moving forward at work to start an edible garden, will keep you informed.