Since the majority of Americans will be hosting barbecues this weekend, I thought it would be fun to test your knowledge of classic Fourth of July foods. To find out where that hot dog was created, take my quiz!Take the Quiz
Frito-Lay, the nation's biggest snack-food company, has announced plans to go local. Next Tuesday the Lay's brand of chips will roll out a new marketing strategy. Dubbed "Lay's Local," the campaign focuses on the 80 farms (scattered across 27 states) that grow the potatoes used to make the chips. Dave Skena, the vice president of potato chip marketing for Frito-Lay, explains the reasoning behind the emphasis on locally grown potatoes:
Knowing where food is made and grown is important to consumers. Sharing with consumers how regional we are is relevant and compelling. Our intention is solely on celebrating the contributions people and communities across the country have made to the Lay's brand.
A Chip Tracker on Lays.com allows consumers to find out where a bag of chips is made. With other companies promoting the use of natural and local ingredients, it comes as no surprise that the snack maker has jumped on the bandwagon.
Lay's potato chips has always been one of my guilty pleasure foods, but how can I feel guilty knowing they're made from locally grown produce? What do you think of the news?
The word "locavore" — only eating foods produced within 100 miles of where you live — was nonexistent a few years ago, but has since become a part of mainstream vocabulary, particularly in cities like San Francisco and New York.
But a recent piece by Conservation magazine, entitled "The Problem of What to Eat," questions the status quo of whether buying local really does reduce one's carbon emission. It's obvious that local produce has a lower carbon footprint when compared to air-freighted foods, but it's actually unclear when comparing local foods to those arriving by sea, rail, or road.
While there's an interesting point made here, I think the carbon issue is really only one part of eating local. Sure, people eat locally to reduce emissions, but there are other reasons, too: The fresh taste of produce picked that day, the ability to talk to farmers firsthand and learn about the food, the idea that we all have a chance to get a little "closer" to our food. So I'll keep trying to buy local when I can.
How about you? Do you eat locally? If so, what are your reasons for being a locavore?
Farms Sprout in Suburbia
The Wall Street Journal's "Green Acres II: When Neighbors Become Farmers" reports that a growing number of Americans are "turning grass into edible greens and maybe even greenbacks," by growing food in their front and backyards. Since 2006, in Boulder, CO, school-bus driver Kipp Nash has "uprooted his backyard and the front or backyards of eight of his Boulder neighbors," and spent his afternoons "planting, watering, and tending" these minifarms, growing vegetables like tomatoes, bok choy, garlic, and beets.