Support Local

Does Local Matter? And at What Cost?

Now more than ever, it seems we place more importance on sourcing locally, but at what cost?  Many feel we have an obligation to our neighbors and communities to keep the money local. I am torn on this issue a bit, possibly coming off a touch hypocritical. For example, I am very much a DIY person and seem to make several trips to both my local hardware and the Big Box stores over most weekends. I buy most of the bigger ticket items from Home Depot or Lowes, and the supplies or smaller items from my local hardware. I feel it is important to patronize the local hardware, after all several years ago we lost our hardware for a few years, mostly due to the Big Box competition.

In the food world, the biggest trend seems to be “Farm-to-Table” (Farm-to-Fork), which refers to a movement concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers. These restaurants are popping up everywhere these days; it’s not just a “big-city” phenomenon anymore.  These chefs rely on traditional farmhouse cooking, with its emphasis on freshness, seasonality, local availability and simple preparations. West Michigan is one of the finest growing regions across the continent and our farmers having been selling their harvests to local restaurateurs long before the Farm-to-Table movement gained popularity. East-Town seems to have a large percentage of establishments that practice FTT, such as the Electric Cheetah, The Green Well, The Winchester, Marie Catrib’s, Brewery …