Road Scholar — “What is Local?”

I’ve been lucky to have been asked to give a presentation about local food to a Road Scholar seminar that comes to the area three times a year. My hope with this talk is to get people thinking about what “local” might really mean. Does it have to just be a geographic designation, or can we broaden the concept to reflect personal values and the changes we would like (and need) to see in our food system?

The following is a brief list of some of the articles, books, etc. that I refer to in my presentation — with live links. Hopefully, it will provide some food for thought! Also, if any of the Road Scholars have questions or comments, please feel free to drop me an e-line at

If you’re interested in learning more about chicken processing, check out this Fresh Air podcast with Maryn McKenna, author of the new book, Big Chicken. (Spoiler alert … you may not want to ever eat industrially produced chicken again!)

localfoodtalk_some references

Here’s some good information about food labels and what they actually mean … or don’t mean. From A Greener World, and there’s info about how to get an app for your phone so you can check labels at the market.

This New York Magazine article is a little discouraging because it seems there are no 100% good food choices, but some are certainly better than others.

Also, here’s a visual example of the “greenwashing” concept” — if you look at the labels of most of the owned companies, there will be absolutely no mention of the parent company. Here’s a chart showing who owns other food companies — less than 10 parent companies!

And here’s a link to some information about organic labeling I shared at a recent talk. The label info is at the end of this article.

2 thoughts on “Road Scholar — “What is Local?”

  1. Katy, Thanks for your presentation to the Road Scholar group last week. It was very informative. The entire course, based in Paso Robles, was well worth it. Interesting area with a lot going on — food and otherwise.

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