One of the joys of being a part of the Edible Communities family is that we each receive copies of each other’s magazines—totalling over 60 now every quarter. This makes for the sharing of a lot of inspired ideas as well as helps with keeping up with the local food movement across the continent. I’m especially in awe of our newest Edibles and how powerful they are right out of the gate.
Edible Louisville just published its third issue and we were blown away by publisher Steve Makela’s publisher’s note. And so, with his permission, I am reprinting it here, in slightly edited form—localizing it, if you will—to share with you:
Edible Austin is all about food. But is also (and just as importantly) about supporting the building of a deep local economy using local food as the driver. Think about it:
• When you hand the Starbucks clerk a $5 bill, say good-bye. It’s on its way to Seattle. When you hand a locally owned coffee shop your money, a much higher portion of that re-circulates in the Austin economy.
• When you choose the big brands, you are enriching corporations and their shareholders. When you select local products—especially at locally owned food stores like Farm to Market and Thom’s Market, as well as at Whole Foods Market, H-E-B and elsewhere—you are creating local jobs.
• When you purchase directly from the farmers market or farm stand, you are reducing our dependence on foreign oil and chemically addicted industrial agricultural corporations…and you are building community as you meet and establish ongoing relationships with those local vendors.
• When you dine at one of our many independent restaurants—especially those who source local food—you are supporting the entire local food and supply chain. When you dine at chain restaurants, you are likely sending your dollars to some remote location for food and supplies that have traveled back and forth across the globe.
TAKE THE EDIBLE CHALLENGE: For the next week, use cash for all your food and restaurant purchases. Don't use a discount card. As you hand over your hard-earned money, think about: WHO are you handing it to? WHERE is it going? HOW MUCH of it will stay in Austin, re-circulating and building a vibrant, deep local economy?
One thing we can certainly agree on in this age of disagreement is that buying local is better for Austin and Central Texas.
This fall, we will begin work with the Sustainable Food Center and Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association along with supportive local businesses to establish a nonprofit BUY LOCAL campaign, much like they have already established in Louisville, KY and Bellingham, WA. We'll keep you posted on our progress. And thank you, Steve!
“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that does.” —Margaret Mead, anthropologist