Local is more choices. Endless choices, all with unique stories, people and artisanship.
Local is buying from friends. Just as it used to be, I know companies right here in the Bay Area who love to invite people to their factory for a tour, or even to their homes for a meal. When was the last time you were invited to fly in the private Boeing 787s of a company that you buy from or even invest in?
Local is learning and knowing more. I want to know where my food comes from, appreciating the subtle differences and varieties as we often do wine (rather than by brand). I don’t want to have to watch a documentary or read breaking news to find out what is hidden from my view.
Local is about relationships. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable being considered a “consumer.” I am not a consumer, I am a person and I believe that our central role on our society is a hell of a lot more than to consume stuff.
Local is about slowing down and discovering our talents again. In our world of hyper productivity and endless information, is the goal to work every waking hour? A friend of mine, actually a successful CEO, has no TVs in his home, only music instruments and a garden. Perhaps we’ve lost something by having everything we could possibly want available to us in shopping aisles. Our parents or grandparents probably preserved their own jams, pickled their own pickles, and received more in return than just something for their sandwiches.
Local is making less of an impact. We all know that we are destroying our natural resources and that this can’t keep up. We’ve done a really good job at hiding the truth from ourselves, of the resources we are consuming and the endless waste we are creating. Yet, when you can look a local company owner in the eyes and ask them about the impact they (and we) are making, everything changes. We need to get back to that.
Local is reusing more. Nearly everything we buy is mostly packaging and a little of what we actually need or use. But when we buy local milk from Straus Family Creamery, for example, or local preserves from Happy Girl Kitchen, we can return the container, no waste, no recycling (as environmentalists will tell you, recycling isn’t nearly as effective as reuse).
Local is more delicious. When it comes to food, eating local means more variety and fresher food. Isn’t life about variety, not a burger that tastes exactly the same, made with exactly the same ingredients? A diet that changes with the seasons sounds fantastic to me, perhaps even a reminder that I’m still alive!Want to know where to buy local? Click here to search for your neighborhood farmers market.