One of the shortcomings of being human is our reluctance to think in the truly long-term. Long-term to most of us is next month or next year. We are simply wired that way. I count myself among the guilty.
This short-term thinking has the effect of blurring the lens through which we view what is normal.
For example, grocery store aisles filled with thousands of processed products shipped from thousands of kilometres away seems pretty normal right now. Fruit Loops seem perfectly “normal”. Goldfish crackers are normal. Even miniature peeled and washed carrots are a less extreme, but equally absurd, example of normal.
When you look at it through the lens of a longer time-frame, it is anything but “normal”.
The food system we rely upon is actually a fairly recent phenomenon. It grew rapidly with the rise of cheap oil, car-culture, better transportation infrastructure and the baby boom of the post-war years. That puts it at about 70 years old.
The food system before the giant big box grocery store was different. It was closer to home. To be fair, it was a little more inconvenient. To get your food, you had to go see your local butcher, your local baker and maybe even your guy or gal at the local flour mill.
There was an upside though. The butcher knew your name. The baker’s kids went to school with yours. You had a connection to them, and they had a connection with you. They lived where you lived. There is a transparency and accountability in dealing with people who live in your community. That’s the way it was for centuries – if not millennia.
The busy world we live in today makes it almost impossible to go back to the old model. However there is an option.
Local & Fresh seeks to be a bridge between the convenience of the current system and the value at the heart of the “normal” food system – one where you are more connected to the people who produce your food.
Local is not a place, it is the people in your community. When you buy local, you are supporting your neighbours and taking a solid step towards creating the new (old) normal.
Whether it is from the price of oil, climate change, population growth, or rampant food recalls; “normal” will return. Our goal is to ensure that the local butcher, baker, and family farmer are still here and thriving when normal returns.
We all have a chance to do our part to support local food three times a day.
Supporting Local & Fresh producers is one way to make that easier; but we are also looking for those who want to do more. We are looking for local food “champions” to help build the local food network.
It may seem a little premature to be looking for people to help grow and expand a company that is still a few weeks away from launch – but I have always been a fan of long-term thinking.
If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Curious about the current food system? Check out Food Inc.