Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Believe It Or Not: McDonald’s is “Local”…Technically

When I think of the word “local”, I think of the farmer who lives down the road from me, who just harvested his massive pumpkin patch. I think of the sugarmaker who trucks maple sap with a horse-drawn sled. I think of my own eggs from my own hens. But let’s face it–I’m not the norm.  “Local“, in most cases, is the nearby gas station with a Taco Bell adjacent. It’s the DQ off the county road. It’s an Arby’s by the soccer field. How far away are you, for example, from a McDonald’s? According to a blogger named Stephen Von Worley (with a h/t to Huffington Post), the place in the U.S. furthest from a McDonald’s, is “Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!” So it’s not, in fact, me (I’m only 15 miles from the nearest Mickey D’s.) When it comes to the growing “local” food movement, I’m skeptical of corporate food co-opting it. Why? Because of the overuse of terminology. “Local,” “organic,” and “farm fresh,” are clever marketing keywords in many cases.  I think this map from Von Worley’s blog really sums up the paradox. How do we really define what’s local? The colored portion represents the distance to the nearest McDonald’s:

 

To read more about Von Worley’s findings, click here.


Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start. Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..

5 Creative Summer Drinks to Help You Cool Off

Now that we’re in the “dog days” of summer, the heat can feel a little unrelenting. There’s no better way to cool off than with a refreshing, cold beverage – especially when that beverage is made with local, organic ingredients and can give you an added health boost! While our experienced foragers and nutrition experts […] Read More..

Beat the Heat and Be Good to Your Gut: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes

Recent research has shown that the trillions of microbes living in our gut, also known as our microbiome, can affect both our brain function and our mood and can be linked to a number of disorders ranging from allergies and asthma to autism, ADD, depression, and more. What we ingest can either help or hurt […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..