February 7, 2011
The Locavore Way

A few months living in Switzerland gives a whole new meaning to the concept of local food consumption. This lifestyle of purchasing food from your neighbors and at the market runs deep in many European’s veins and occurs with little thought.  I was overwhelmed by their intrinsic appreciation for purchasing fresh and quality ingredients, as well as knowing the farmer and how it was produced. To get a better grasp of local food consumption in America, I picked up Amy Cotler’s new book, The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food.

This book was a breath of fresh air for producers and consumers alike. Cotler’s background in catering, cookbook writing and local food advocacy made for a practical and activating read. The Locavore Way was a mixture of narrative, guides and recipes.  What was most appealing about Cotler’s writing was that she took a moderate stance on different “locavore” approaches by introducing all options, such as Community Supported Agriculture, organics, at-home gardening, and farmers markets. 

Cotler replaced the once stuffy approach to consuming local food with an Average Joe’s approach. Lifestyle changes could be as simple as seasonal cooking or experimenting with new ingredients. The book was both educational and motivating with tips on canning, foraging and finding the thrill behind hearing a food’s story.

Without even specifically addressing Indiana, Cotler was able to help me discover the local assets of my surroundings – from my backyard to the butcher down the street to the pie shop in my hometown.  There is nothing better than a book that makes you approach the world through an alternative lenses. I would highly recommend reading The Locavore Way – this book is a great way to get conversations rolling in your home and community.

This What-are-You-Reading-Wednesday post was written by Brittany Smith, an intern with the Indiana Humanities Council. Brittany is a senior Communications major at Butler University. A strong passion for food and agriculture brought her to the Council’s Food for Thought campaign.

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