Squash, beets, and…Big Macs?

The eat local movement is undeniably rooted in good intentions, but can be challenging to sustain in day-to-day life. Like plants themselves, eating local requires planning and attention. This is especially true in winter, yet, despite the deep freeze of the past week, there are still some ways to nurture your socio-gastronomic ideals. Squash, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and kohlrabi are some of the wintry produce still in abundance. Boston Localvores suggests visiting the North Attleborough Winter Farmer’s & Artisan Producers Market on Sundays (January 10th-March 28th) and the Winter Farmer’s Market in Wayland on Saturdays (January 16th-February 27th). For a full list of ongoing winter farmers’ markets, check out www.massfarmersmarkets.org. And don’t forget to be on the look out for other local offerings available year-round, like cheese, meat, canned or pickled products, beer, and wine.

In addition to seasonality, eating local can be a challenge due to our cultural expectation of instant gratification. A recent Huffington Post item reports that McDonalds in Italy will be offering two new burgers featuring Italian produce (artichoke spread, asiago cheese, and lettuce on one, olive oil, onion, and smoked pancetta on the other). The partnering between McDonalds and the Italian government has been mostly met with cynicism, and it is indeed likely more a business transaction than an indication of true commitment to local eating and sustainability. But the situation brings up important questions. Is it possible to reconcile a commitment to eating local with mass production? How can we create a meaningful collaboration between slow food and fast food? Or are the two mutually exclusive? Salt News invites your thoughts.

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~ by saltnews on February 3, 2010.

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