There used to be a great little shop a few blocks from us that only sold local food. In the depths of winter, there wouldn’t be quite as much on the shelves and you couldn’t go there with a recipe in mind, which is sort of freeing. You could always get delicious pre-made dishes, and the meat was out of this world. Unfortunately, after the shop changed ownership about 2 years ago, a belt-tightening economy that doubly dubbed grass-fed beef a luxury (and I’m not saying it isn’t) caused them to shutter rather quickly. I guess the fact that the shop was adjacent to a tanning salon emitting puffs of burnt skin smell along with the A/C couldn’t have helped. Or maybe it did? That house-rendered leaf lard suuure makes for some good tanning oil.
The original shop owner had an excellent, albeit militant, manifesto posted on his website about eating locally and sustainably. It’s gone now, which is a terrible shame because more than most literature of its nature, it called out Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for some pretty shady corporate games. Didn’t stop me from shopping at both establishments, I’m afraid to admit, but it made me think twice and start asking questions.
Want to know what raises more questions? First, this investigative piece (clip below) from a Philadelphia news station (thanks Mom!). It’s wrapped up in some nauseating zooms and peppered with cringe-inducing commentary, but the meat of the piece is pretty eye-opening.
And this article is a worthwhile read. It’s over a year old but contains at least a glimmer of what that shop owner was pontificating about. The storyline continues today, displayed in this piece in the New York Times.