I told my wife, a key member of the Local Family, about this post looking at negative facets to local eating. I said I was going to call it “Brutal Honesty”. She suggested something softer and nuanced. I know she would never use “Fair and Balanced”, but now I cannot remember what she had said. I cannot get her idea because she’s already gone a-bakin’. I’ll just note the notes below as “Honest Local”. See, I may a huge advocate of local eating in Chicago, but I am also eminently fair. No one challenges more than me, no one makes a better case than me (in my honest opinion).
Disconcerting thought number one: At least once a week, I report back on the fact that local food is currently accessible and affordable, basing my data on weekly inserts in the poorly designed Trib and visits to Angelo Caputo’s in Elmwood Park. Well, over the weekend, I visited a Costco, the Coscto in Oak Brook. Given a choice of apples, the consumer could find apples from Washington and apples from Michigan. Going just on price, the consumer would have to had chosen Washington.
Disconcerting fact number two is related. We also stopped in at Trader Joe’s, in Downer’s Grove, this Sunday. They had apples too. One came in plastic; one came in farm fresh white paper. Yes, my friends, it was the Michigan sealed in petro-plastic. It was the New York in the olde thyme sacks.
Switching subjects, when were were putting together the article on storage and preservation, I was met with a bit of scepticism about the keeper tomatoes. I stuck to my guns, and it stayed in the final draft. Putting money where my keyboard was, my wife and I bought about fifteen pounds of keeper tomatoes from Nichol’s at the Eli’s Cheesecake market. I dutifully wrapped the tomatoes in newspaper and put them aside while we still had other tomatoes. Then, the other day, I noticed something stinky. After getting my daughter to put away her dirty soccer uniform, I noticed the smell again. Soon, I zeroed in on the source. It seemed that white gobs of mold had attacked most of the tomatoes. I salvaged maybe five. The rest went in the garbage disposal. Really, this surprised me. I am not sure why they spoiled so quickly, but as I tell the kids all the time, poop happens. At least I am honest with you all. And I guess disconcerting fact number three is that tomato season will be over a bit sooner than I thought.
Never let it be said that I do not give the full experience of eating local, nor do I hide any facts (in my opinion).