Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

NY Times Magazine Is Locavoracious

An article on some of the new and wonderful food-words cropping up all over your local supermarket, food channel, and trendy restaurant menu is being featured this week in the New York Times magazine. What you may not know—and the Times article goes a ways toward informing you—is that the word “locavore” (Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year, 2007) was coined by Chelsea Green author Jessica Prentice (Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection). Prentice, co-creator of the Local Foods Wheels, came up with the term on something like a dare from San Francisco Chronicle writer Olivia Wu.

Here’s an excerpt from the Times article:

As the economy began its downturn last year and imports became more expensive, localness challenged cleanliness as being next to godliness in the food dodge. The lust for the local is even competing with organic — food grown or raised without a chemical assist but often transported around the world — and Wal-Mart, having joined the organic parade two years ago, is now touting its purchases of produce grown in-state near its supercenters.

Naturally, a name was needed to describe the new anti-exoticism. The word locavore was coined in 2005 on the analogy of carnivore, “flesh eater” (which most dictionaries prefer to “meat eater” because the Latin caro is translated as “flesh,” but nobody eats fattening flesh these days), and herbivore, “plant eater.” The suffix –vorous means “eating, devouring” and spawned the adjective “voracious.”

The coiner is Jessica Prentice, who had left a job at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco to write a book about “food and the hunger for connection.” While working on that, she decided to urge people in the Bay Area to eat local food for a month; Olivia Wu, a food writer for The Chronicle, challenged her to come up with a name for what Prentice had been calling the nearby foodshed, I presume on the analogy of “watershed.” She promptly melded the Latin locus, “place,” with vorare, “swallow, devour” and (gulp!) there was locavore, the noun that became the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year for 2007.

“The Rise of the ‘Locavore’ ” was a Business Week headline this spring about the spread of farmers’ markets: “Consumers increasingly are seeking out the flavors of fresh, vine-ripened foods grown on local farms rather than those trucked to supermarkets from faraway lands.” Name of the trend in a recent review in The New York Sun, which lamentably set last month: locavorism.

The trend was confirmed in a macabre New Yorker cartoon last month by Bruce Eric Kaplan. A man-eating shark, munching on a human arm, says to another shark, “I’m trying to eat more locals.”

Read the whole article here.


Ready, Set, Forage: Pick Pawpaws, Win a Book!

It’s pawpaw picking time! As we cruise into fall, the change in season often evokes images of apple picking and pie-eating. But apples aren’t the only fruit reaching their prime this time of year. Lesser known but equally delicious is the pawpaw. Described as a cross between a banana and a mango, this exotic-looking fruit […] Read More..

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 developed […] 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..