Rachel's Table

A Letter to My Inner Foodie on the Subject of Becoming a Locavore

Dear Inner Foodie,

I hate to break it to you, but you have been beguiled by the slow food movement, and you are in for a rude awakening.

Eating locally and being a “foodie” are not the same thing. At all. While the definition of foodie is varied, I like this one best: having a love of food for consumption, preparation, and study (thank you, Wikipedia). Unfortunately for you, the definition of a locavore is not as broad: a person who endeavors to eat only locally produced food (thank you, New Oxford American Dictionary).

Do you see what I’m getting at here? You are selling your foodie soul to an unattainable cause. Eating locally produced food means there are limits to what you can consume and prepare. As a rule of thumb, that limit is a 100-mile radius of your front door. Not to burst your bubble or anything, but do you have a garbanzo bean patch in your backyard? Do you know someone who does? I didn’t think so. No hummus for you. Have you seen an olive tree in Delaware?  No? That means your favorite citrus-marinated olives will stay with all the other deliciously tempting olives in Whole Foods’ olive heaven section.  Did you mistake Delaware for Florida? Then why do you drink orange juice with your scrambled eggs in the morning? Perhaps you think this is California, because I see five avocados on your kitchen counter.

Do I really need to go on?

As a foodie, the world is at your culinary fingertips, but as a locavore, you’re stuck with whatever grows in the confines of the Mid-Atlantic States. Frightening when I think about how much you love sushi.

Do you see what you’re giving up? You’re giving up nutella, cucumbers in the dead of winter, parmigiano-regianno,  peanut butter, Italian wine, and out of season tomatoes…you’re giving up tomatoes that were genetically engineered to survive a 1,500 mile tractor trailer ride unscathed so that you can choose a perfectly round one for your obligatory dinner salad. And why would you give that up? For a similar tomato grown with love, care, and sunshine in the organic soil of John’s backyard and sold to you the same day it was picked?


I get it now. I put all sarcasm and forewarnings aside for that one glorious summer tomato.  Quell your fears, Inner Foodie!  I assure you it will be worth it.

Much (local) food love,



  1. I doubt I will ever be able to completely eat locally. I enjoy olives far too much. But I’ll settle for getting the majority of my food locally. I’ll eat the occasional imported olive guilt free. 🙂

    • I’m having my doubts too. 😦 But I’m going to try it for one growing season to see how it feels. The one thing I can’t give up is coffee. At least I can get it from a local roaster, which is kind of cheating, but I’m okay with it.

      • I think it’s a really noble venture, but I also think it’s okay to cheat a bit. If you buy as much local as you can, you’re doing something and something is better than nothing 🙂

  2. I can’t give up my olives. I cannot. Do I have to? I love the freakin’ olive bar at Whole Foods. It’s like an olive party. And, well … while they really don’t THAT much here in Northern Nevada … can I claim California as local??? They grow everything there all year long, right? 🙂

    • I say claim it. Cali has so much to offer, food-wise! I may or may not have bought olives for a recipe just last week. (It’s winter so I give myself a little leeway.) I forgot about that until you made this comment. Now I feel like a fraud!

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