About a week ago, a cooler of food arrived on my doorstep from Philadelphia.
What, you mean your FedEx guy doesn't just leave you boxes of food from random cities every now and then?
I kid. The goodies were from Philly Homegrown, an organization that helps promote local food in Philadelphia.
When they first emailed me about trying out some of their local products, I didn't quite get it. After all, isn't the point of local food that it's, well, local? As in Kansas...maybe Missouri, definitely not Pennsylvania.
But think of it this way--have you ever ended up at a McDonald's when you're traveling, just because you're not sure where else there is to eat? It's amazing how, even when you try, sometimes you get stuck on the yucky fast food strip that every town or city seems to have.
Which is where Philly Homegrown--and other websites like it (Lawrence has one, but it's not nearly as snazzy)--come in. Say you were visiting Philadelphia and you wanted to check out a local market, for example. Or try some wine and beer. Or find a restaurant that is most definitely not Mickey-D's. It's all there.
I could have this pasta with sauce for dinner every night for a week and not get tired of it. Or just snack on cheese and honey. Or chocolate bars flavored with mint grown in urban gardens. (Coolest thing ever, by the way!) In fact, about two slices into the gorgeous hunk of fennel salami pictured above, Sweet Husband was like, "Hmm...maybe we need to plan a vacation soon...." And I was like, "Yeah, we could take the Kid to see the Liberty Bell in between the eating...."
More seriously though, I love how the internet is helping people find out about local foods. It's such a beautiful use of technology in what is really an old-fashioned way of eating. I think people are naturally drawn to fresh, small-farm produced foods. I think many people will even pay a little more for them. It's just a matter of spreading the word about where to get them, and making it convenient enough to work into your life. Yay for this well-designed website that does just that!