Locavores? Say What?

Article published on Dec. 3, 2008
Article published on Dec. 3, 2008
Unidentifiable, at first sight. They mix perfectly within the Parisian crowd. “They”? They are the Locavores. A new species of consumers with only one thing in mind: eat local ! To be more precise, buy fruits and vegetables produced less than 160 km from their home. It all started in San Francisco in 2005 with Chef Jessica Prentice.
The Locavores decided then to only purchase their produce from farms located in a perimeter under 100 miles (approximately 160 kilometres) from their home.

No more planes

The advantages of this new way of consumption are many. On an ecological scale, first: pollution from transportation is reduced to a minimum. No planes on the horizon. It is also more respectful of the seasons: no more strawberries and tomatoes in December. Economically, it reduces the number of intermediaries and thus the prices. Nearness also guarantees higher freshness thus a better gustatory quality. Erwan Humbert, 36, from Puteaux (92) is in since the beginning. “Having access to fresh produce and through a shorter distribution circuit is what interests me’ he said to the magazine Paris Obs, “I care about the economic and ecological effectiveness”.

Discover Forgotten Vegetables

So where do the Parisians Locavores find their produce? A large number of them follow the producer Joël Thiebault, who can be found on numbers of Parisian markets, like in Paris 16th, avenue President Wilson. Owner of 22 hectares in Carrière-sur-Seine in the Yvelines near Paris, he is a figure of local eating and rehabilitates forgotten vegetables like the Andean tomato or the multicolour bette. So if you can’t make to the kitchen garden, let the kitchen garden come to you…

Further insights:

- Article in Paris Obs : « Devenez locavores », October 30, 2008

- Article in Time Magazine : « Eat local », March 2007

- AMAP Ile de France Internet site (Association pour le Maintien d'une Agriculture Paysanne / association for a farmer agriculture)

Crédit photo : Phillip Capper/FlickR

Translation : Frédérique Destribats