The Localvore Movement is important in both food, wine, beer and spirits. I think there is exceptional pride eating and drinking locally. I think what can be something that introduces guilt is when you are eating something not local. We do it all the time and for good reason. I like coffee, chocolate, bananas, tropical fruit and wines from abroad which I can not live by only local foods and drink experience all the time. I do think it too esoteric and narrow minded to following something so strict and I think misses the point of connecting with people around the planet.
I love knowing the heirloom tomatoes on my plate are from a farm one county away–I love knowing the Meyer lemons I have came from a neighbour–yes, you get the idea. I have listened to the many hard core people about eating local. I think the intent for many is to eat local where possible. I think following a path of just eating local is narrow minded as we cannot always get what we want from a local source.
I think there are things that go a long distance that could be made locally–cars–what a carbon footprint. I drink wine from Alsace, Champagne, Turkish wines, wines from Montenegro, Uruguay or perhaps South Africa. Maybe I want olive oil from Tunisia or coffee from Ethiopia– I don’t feel guilty by buying these products. While some might rely on buying only Fair Trade or Direct Trade I want to put my money where my mouth is–I do think it is essential to buy from regions that need the economic activity. While my one purchase is not going to have a long term impact but imagine if many people were buying olive oil or preserved lemons from Tunisia?
Olive oil like wine is filled with many options. I love olive oil and I cannot get enough and I go through it quickly which means many options to try new olive oils from new places. I recently picked up Nabali olive oil from Palestine. I had read a good review and I thought I had to try. I also feel that I need to spread my dollars around as much as possible. I often wonder about the economics of Palestine and I know the population is 4 million people with an average income of $2,900.
I have also been buying preserved lemons coming from Tunisia. The per capita income is $4,700. I think the only way that poverty is going to be addressed is to seek food sources from lesser sourced food regions. Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Palestine, Jordan, Indonesia, New Mexico, Georgia, Turkey, South Africa, Peru, Chile, etc. So I ask you seek these regions and more. Seek a way for people to have a dignified life.
I also look at wine as a great thing to seek–to help people look towards the ancient and sometimes the new producer. Cuisine is a full circle of food and wine. Now for wine I hope you look for wines from the lesser known regions as Republic of Georgia, Mexico, Lebanon, yes, Syria, Kingdom of Jordan, India, South Africa, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Morocco, Cyprus, Turkey, Peru, Uruguay, Ontario, British Columbia and New Mexico to name a few.
I think that if we were about only about eating local we miss the opportunity for a more fuller, more ecumenical tasting. We miss the beauty and uniqueness of place. Seek local and seek far away. After all you are not importing a car which seems to not induce concern for carbon footprint… you are importing something self sustaining. And I think peace will not come from politicians but it will come from people helping people.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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