Thinking about – Supporting Local?

 

Each and every day, we spend money. Some of us more than others. Some like to shop, some like to buy. Buying local is supporting local right? Maybe…or maybe not.

We’ve seen the charts, graphs and discussions about buying and supporting local. For those of you who have supported us and the local farmer’s markets we support – we say a heartfelt, “Thank You”. We do our best to be good conservators of the trust you’ve placed in us.

Admittedly we aren’t part of the “Save the Planet” group. It’s not the planet that so much concerns us as the people on it. And so, for that reason, we try to be the type of people you want to spend your hard earned money with! We have accepted the responsibility of providing a good (we say great, but leave that up to your discretion) product, in environmentally friendly packaging, with forthright, honest advertising. In addition, we offer extensive education that makes CLEAR where our products come from and how they benefit you both in the short term (every time you eat, drink or bathe using our products) as well as in the long run (by explaining the potential benefits and draw backs of the choices you make).

There are two ways to support local. We occasionally eat at McDonald’s one of the “local” fast food chain restaurants and jokingly say that we are supporting local because there is one on every corner. (Ok, maybe they aren’t THAT plentiful, but they do have at least one in almost every community.)

Sometimes buying local means purchasing things from a local business that are PURVEYED because they can’t be PRODUCED locally. Things like salt and pepper and raw cane sugar are not produced locally, or even regionally, and in some cases not even on this continent. We PURVEY what can’t be produced locally – and we say so.

Sometimes buying local means buying things PRODUCED locally. Some of our products (like our rim·licks™ and FACON™) are produced locally.  What about:  locally grown vegetables, or locally raised beef or chicken or turkeys or pigs? Imagine being able to meet the people who grow and raise the food you eat. THAT’s farm to fork!

On the other hand, there are other local businesses who buy things like produce from a “local” warehouse and resell it. Those local businesses include your “local” grocery store as well as some of your small, farmer’s market produce vendors. It’s a case of local (you) buying local (from the store or vendor) who bought local (from the warehouse) who DIDN’T buy local. Or maybe it’s your favorite restaurant that says they buy local and they do – the local Restaurant Depot!

In cases like that, when you buy local, you aren’t meeting the person who grew or raised or produced any of the things you are purchasing. And, if they can’t at least provide you a bit of an education about the products or produce, then they should as a minimum requirement be able to tell you where or how it was grown or raised or produced, and why that is important to them (and hopefully you).

If you are someone who WANTS to support local, the biggest thing you can do is to question every business, vendor and restuarant that claims to provide “LOCAL” anything, put them to the test. They aren’t going to give up any trade secrets or disclose things that fall into the category of intellectual property. But you can ask them WHERE it was grown or produced, HOW it was grown or produced, even ask them if THEY produced it – if not, why not – and THEN decide if that’s YOUR idea of supporting local.