Sunday, July 27, 2008

Locally Grown Food Catching on Even More

With gas prices at an all time high and growing consumer interest in knowing where their food comes from, an evolving group of "locavores" - those that love to eat locally grown food.

Although it’s relatively easy for a home cook to find a dozen ears of sweet corn or a quart of strawberries, it’s more difficult for restaurants, schools and cafeterias to find local suppliers for the volume of food they need.

“Leaf lettuce in June and July? You can’t get it here,” said Brown Hitt, who has worked at or managed a number of local restaurants and bars since the 1970s.

“The whole thing about sustainability and locally grown has burst on the scene in the last two years. But restaurants don’t have a lot of time to beat around with supply. It’s all about convenience. The local guys can do it, but it’s a lot of extra work.”

Another downside is that smaller farms tend to have higher production costs, especially if foods are grown naturally or organically.

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