Mission Creep or Is That Cause-orama?

March 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Rob Gardner

My first impulse for today’s post was to present my wife’s arguments against the rocket campaign (“what kind of resolution is about changing the way other people talk…”), but then I thought, hey there’s a reasonably good chance I’ll be on TV this week (WBBM Channel 2 10 PM News, Tuesday, March 24).  Plus, Monday AM, people are avoiding responsibilities by surfing the ‘net.  What better time to catch everyone up on all the high horses I like to ride.  If you thought getting people to say rocket instead of arugula was the extent of my causes, think again.  Roll the tape:

  • Eat Local - Well that is THE cause.  If you can find the food nearby, and for us it means Illinois and nearby states, then only eat it from nearby.  It does not mean you cannot have coffee, chocolate, spices, etc.
  • Don’t Retreat to Hedonism when Challenged Over Eating Local – There is a tendency from even the most ardent locavores to retreat to the “well at least it tastes better” when challenged.  There are very good reasons to eat local beyond taste.  Food miles do matter; one study pitting New Zealand lamb against British lamb means little; farmer’s don’t drive to the market in SUVs and Mercedes.  There’s less packaging in local food and many other good reasons to go local.
  • Eat Local All The Time – The reasons to eat local do not dissipate when the farmer’s markets pack up for the season.  Eat local in the winter and early spring via a combination of stored food and indoor produced food.
  • We Need Winter Farmers – Sure, there’s a chicken-egg thing going on.  Farmers do not sell and produce for the winter/winter markets because no one’s buying and buyers do not shop the winter markets because no one’s selling, but truth be told, there’s a lot more buyers than sellers right now.
  • Don’t Fear Root Veg – Activists have been pushing hoop-houses as the answer to local food in the winter, but the answer is also what it’s always been, stored roots.  Raw or cooked, there’s a lot that can be done with root vegetables.  Eat more rutabagas.
  • We Need a Permanent Public Market – A showcase, a source to buy several days a week, non-frozen meats, why else?
  • Demand Local Food at Retail – Better yet, shop Cassie’s Green Grocer or order from Irv and Shelly’s Freshpicks.
  • Support Our Team – There’s so many great beers, vodkas, cheeses, produced nearby, why try anything else–wine I’m fine with non-local.
  • Compost – That’s Melissa’s battle, but I’m a foot soldier.
  • Call Arugula Rocket – Some of our causes are more important than others.