Oxford University Press awarded the word “locavore” as Oxford Word of the Year for 2007. So praytell, what is “locavore”?
I came upon this word accidentally via my own blog funnily enough. Earlier today, I visited each of the links in my blog to update myself on what’s going on in planet food. I found myself going back again to Food Pairing and from there jumped to Food for Design which is where I stumbled upon “Local River” a home storage unit for fish and greens by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur . It’s amazing. Talk about a functional aquarium. Imagine your own living room as a place to gather your dinner from! Truly a remarkable concept.
Here’s a peek of Lehanneur’s website. Check out his site (by clicking on his name above) and watch the video (tab #28).
Subsequently, I went to handy-dandy Wikipedia to learn more about “locavore”.What I found is that there’s a new term to describe me and a handful of my family and friends—hear that folks, you can now add “locavore” to the list of terms you identify with. But what it literally means is “someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles” and it’s coined by San Francisco local chef, Jessica Prentice. Oh those San Franciscans… such green thinkers… always cooking up innovative ways to improve our world…
When Oxford University Press asked Chef Prentice how she came up with the word, she sent OUP a profound narrative:
“… And just for the record… I am hardly a purist or a perfectionist. (I was also proud when the New York Times called me a “pragmatic” voice in the movement.) Personally, I don’t use the word as a whip to make myself or anyone else feel guilty for drinking coffee, cooking with coconut milk, or indulging in a piece of chocolate. There are things it makes sense to import because we can’t grow them here, and they’re either good for us or really delicious or both. But it doesn’t make sense to watch local apple orchards go out of business while our stores are filled with imported mealy apples. And if you spend a few weeks each year without the pleasures of imported delicacies, you really do learn a whole lot about your foodshed, about your place, about what you’re swallowing on a daily basis. …”
To read Chef Prentice’s tale unabridged, click on “The Birth of Locavore” plus I recommend visiting her website (click on her full name above).
In three weeks, Redmond’s Saturday Market will go on its own version of hibernation and do so until May. Oh how we’ll miss our local producers! And so it looks like Ryan and I will have to be pickier in the grocery stores we frequent (as if we’re not already), no doubt so will fellow locavores out there when their local farmer’s market temporarily close the curtains until spring.
Hmm, if only we have a “Local River” of our own in our tiny living room. Hey there Santa, just in case you’re wondering what this incredibly-super-verily-mightily-good girl wants for Christmas…