I stopped by the Star Store (our Langley grocery store) to get a movie and tantalized myself by cruising the aisles to see if there was anything this 10-miler could eat, drink, wear, use, slather on my body, whatever. In fact, no. Stunning really that nothing was truly local, or at least that I could tell , with two exceptions and one almost ran.
And it stocks wine from the Whidbey Island Vinyard and Winery, Langley, WA. Who says 10-mile living isn’t intoxicating?
While coffee comes from afar, our own Des Rock who owns Useless Bay Coffee Company across the street from the Star Store roasts coffee on his premises (the smell is heavenly).
What will I do in October, though. How local do I want to go over the long haul? By what measure will I make my food choices – and there are so many measures!
Speaking of measurement, my friend Daniele Giovanucci happens to be one of the world experts in organic free trade coffee. That work led him to create an organization, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), that integrates the research done by dozens of non profits and governments on measuring sustainability. I mean, we toss these terms around… sustainability, local, organic, fresh … but by what standard do we know what’s what? And how do we monetize it? If you are interested in such issues, below is a video of his recent lecture.
In the meantime, I did recognize that even though nothing at the Star Store was Langley born and bred through and through, there were cheeses from Port Townsend and from Western Washington and Oregon. I felt as I looked at labels not for CALORIES or for CARBS but for WHERE, I was starting to commit to regional eating.
As for the coffee beans, Daniele would say that through buying from small producers half way around the world I am still “local” – I am allowing a local way of life to persist in Central America and Africa. I am helping farmers resist becoming factory farmers. There is no special virtue in my 10 mile eating. Consider it Lent to prepare me for a more ethical way of eating in the future.