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"Fields of Plenty:" Reliability of local foods

From Michael Ableman's "Fields of Plenty:"

Satur Farm is a reliable source; it's about production, consistency, about always being able to say yes to every request from every restaurant. I'm sure such reliability has helped give chefs in the region the confidence to commit to regional and organic ingredients and promote them to their customers.

From all the readings and research I have been doing into local foods and their viability, I can only find two legitimates reason why a restaurant or supermarket might refrain from using local foods. The first of these is the lack of reliability that can sometimes go along with local foods. Farmers are often not as dependent as a corporation such as Sysco in consistently supplying the same quality and quantity of foods. I think that if this stumbling block can be addressed, than corporations such as Wal-Mart will have no excuse for not using local foods.

(The second stumbling block, I would say, is the seasonal nature of food production. If Wal-Mart were to rely exclusively on local produce, it would not be able to sell, say, oranges (here in Iowa). This problem could be addressed in one of two ways: 1) Wal-Mart could continue to sell the same produce, using as much locally produced foods as possible, and getting the remainder from other places; or 2) Customers could adjust their eating habits to go along with food production in the region in which they live. I don't think it is asking to much of someone to change their eating habits to be consistent with the growing seasons of produce. Why should we feel it is necessary to eat certain foods year-round, when this is not how nature works?)

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