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Even though mainstream North American culture – at least as I have experienced it – doesn’t seem to consciously recognize it, food is a central part of our social interactions.  Eating locally has made me acutely aware of this.  When I first started out, I was very surprised to discover how much of my social life revolved around eating, something I had been doing quite unconsciously for most of my life.  Going for coffee, dinner, lunch, or having a drink after work, took on a whole new dimension, raising a slew of ethical questions.  With my new self-imposed restrictions in place, I found it very difficult to do anything social other than go for hikes or a movie (and even the movie was tough, what with all that munching and crunching going on). 

It is for this reason that I decided to include some flexibility in my ‘rules’ and permit myself to eat non-local food when spending time with friends.  So I must admit that I do consume food outside the diet probably a couple of times a week.  I do, however, do my best to stick to my guns, suggesting restaurants and cafes that carry local food and fair trade products. 

Fortunately these are rapidly proliferating, and there are several lovely examples now in London.  Plus, my friends and family have all been very supportive, and often quite curious to give this a try.  Furthermore, the service & tourist industry has very quickly jumped on the local bandwagon, hoping to find a niche in with this newbut rapidly growing consumer demand.  Café Unique in Wortley village is one such restaurant, with really good food – and great atmosphere – I should add.   The bakery just a few doors to the south uses locally grown and milled flour for its breads and pastries.  And many coffee shops are now carrying fair trade coffees and teas, such as ‘Has Beans’ in Covent Gardens.  I will be sure to list other locations as I find them.

This weekend I had a friend come over Saturday evening, and another one visit all day Sunday.  Both, in their kindness, brought really yummy food.  Very little of it was local, but we did drink local red wine.   I still have a few items left over, including some very tasty olive tapinade that is to die for on my local 7-year cheddar and toasted Nova-Scotia brown bread.  As these non-local items are a fait acomplis, I will add them to the list of precious items in my pantry to delight in and savor. 


3 Responses

  1. Welcome to blog world!

    I love your graphics. Mine is pretty traditional looking. Some blogs have nifty features like being able to insert the book covers of “books on your night stand” and such. Your might consist of the packaging (environmentally friendly of course!) of favourite foods.

    You’d be interested to hear that next week I’m going to Edinburgh and am going to “Iglu”, an ethical eatery. Will be sure to report back on the experience. Organic food is fairly common in London and many menus now explicitly state from which butcher they source their meat, for instance. There’s also a restaurant that only serves food served within the M25, London’s ring road. I’ve never been, but friends have said it’s really nice.

    Looking forward to your next blog.

  2. I’m looking forward to hearing your report on Iglu… an ‘ethical eatery’? I’ve never even heard that expression before. I’m very curious to learn more.

    On the one hand these it’s really great that restaurants are jumping on the local and organic bandwagon, but at the same time, that results in an increase in the exclusivity of this ‘movement.’ For example, in Prince Edward County (Picton area, between Kingston and Toronto), 100% of the organic food produced in that area is purchased by restaurants. That makes high priced food even higher priced and excludes those with lower incomes from being able to access healthier foods. Definitely a dilemma and one of the aspects of the local food movement that many are trying to work on. Right now there just isn’t enough to go around, so top dollar gets it. Hopefully that will change with time and consistent demand!

    Please do let me know about your eating experience at Iglu – and anywhere else for that matter! Cheers 🙂

  3. […] know what?  It really wasn’t that hard.  Of course I have not kept 100% to the diet (read my Confessions for more details), but I have strictly kept to brining only locally grown or produced food into my […]

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