Love eating local? Then here’s where you should live, according to a new study

I’ve written before about the challenges of eating local. How much locally grown food is available to us is often a function of geography. A new study shows the truth in that, with a few surprising exceptions.

A firm called Lawn Starter looked at the 150 largest U.S, cities and came up with the following rankings of the best cities for eating (and drinking) local:

Continue reading “Love eating local? Then here’s where you should live, according to a new study”

Covid-19 cooking trends: Everyone is making banana bread, apparently

I just finished blogging about one study on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted American cooking and eating habits. And now a second study has crossed my desk, this one looking at the most searched for recipes since the pandemic began.

Banana bread (which I don’t like or eat, by the way) was the number one recipe searched for in all 50 states in April, found Bid on Equipment.

Tiny Rhode Island had the most searches for banana bread recipes, followed by New Jersey and Washington state.

So obviously the country likes banana bread more than I do and is finding some comfort in making it. More interesting, because of the range of choices, is which recipes came in second in every state. Regional differences can clearly be seen there. Continue reading “Covid-19 cooking trends: Everyone is making banana bread, apparently”

Local citrus in mid-America? Build your own greenhouse

People are increasingly interested in buying local foods, but there’s no universally accepted definition for what local means for various shoppers. Some have suggested the idea of bio-regions to get a handle on what is truly local.

Still, if you’re sitting in Chicago on a winter’s day as I am, you have to wonder if you’ll ever be able to buy something like a local banana which needs a lot more heat and sun than we have here.

Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert looks at one alternative in his video, a man in Nebraska who built his own greenhouse to grow local.

“Geothermal greenhouses high on the Nebraska plains house a citrus grove with trees holding up a canopy of lemons, grapefruit-sized oranges, green figs and bunches of grapes. The designer, a former mail carrier and farmer, Russ Finch designed the structure and calls it the Greenhouse in the Snow,” Lempert reports. Finch thinks he can even grow bananas!!!

Others are backing the idea of greenhouse agriculture in urban areas. Gotham Greens, a company I wrote about in a past life when I was editor of a food magazine, boasts that it “has built and operates over 170,000 square feet of technologically advanced, urban rooftop greenhouses across 4 facilities in New York City and Chicago. Gotham Greens is actively developing urban agriculture projects in cities across the United States.”

Putting these greenhouses on otherwise unused flat roofs on supermarkets and food warehouses is a great use of space and can provide local jobs for future urban farmers as well.

For more news from the urban agriculture front, check out my son’s blog, From the Ground Up North, which is getting a lot of positive notice in the Twin Cities area.


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