The trend of eating locally, while nothing new for many people, seems to have brought some additional concerns with its renewed popularity. Maybe it’s the necessary role food plays in our lives, but we as consumers seem to want a lot more from our food shopping experience than any other shopping we do. Where we are encouraged to get to know the people selling and creating the food we eat, this philosophy doesn’t seem to extend toward other items we purchase. No one is insisting we develop an ongoing relationship with our real estate agent, or form a “community” with the salegirls from the Gap. Heck, for that matter, the “buy local” trend seems to go no further than food, as the same people who search out wheat grown within a 100-mile radius have no qualms whatsoever about wearing yoga pants made in China, or shoes that have come from Italy.
No, we have a twisted and sometimes perverse relationship with food and with the act of procuring said food. We’re no longer content to just go, shop and bring the stuff home. Now we need events, family-friendly activities, entertainment, a sense of community and added value. That’s a lot for your average farmer and a table of tomatoes to live up to.