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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Big Ag says, “Hey, We’re Local Food Too.”

The NY Times has an interesting article on how big ag is co-opting the local food movement's mojo to sell Lays potato chips and other junk food. Jessica Prentice, San Francisco based food writer and inventor of the term, "locavore", has the following choice quote;

“The local foods movement is about an ethic of food that values reviving small scale, ecological, place-based, and relationship-based food systems,” Ms. Prentice said. “Large corporations peddling junk food are the exact opposite of what this is about.”

Food companies are getting the message that people want to know where their food comes from, and who is involved in bringing it to market. The true test would be if a rep from Frito Lay could sign up to sell Lays Potato Chips from potatoes grown in Othello and processed in Moses Lake at Washington Farmers' markets. Technically they would qualify but there is an intangible piece that is missing that makes it seem ridiculous.

So what is it with local food? What's the big deal? Why are people so interested? Why does a Farmers' Market resonate and a Lays Potato chip leaves us flat?

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at