I got a Facebook message worrying that annacotta died… No, she didn’t die, she’s just real, real busy packing up all her earthly possessions (which sururisingly fit into four 16 x 16 boxes and the trunk of a Camry,) trying to learn Spanish before a very frightening final, and writing papers on the destiny of Being and the correlations between light and literature (and wondering just how any of this will be all that useful in, you know, real life.) And eating, mostly at one AM after the library closes. Mostly peanut butter and pitas, smoothies and clementines. Although I’ve discovered roasted radishes, the creamy, quiet, refined older sister of the rowdy raw radish. Anyway. I’m not dead.

Here’s another re-purposed Catalyst article. This article was so insanely up my alley, I couldn’t help but write two thousand plus words and take up two whole newspaper pages blathering about local food. It’s fascinating! I’m so curious about why this trend has so seriously taken root, and no matter how hard I look, I can’t seem to figure it out. It all is very sensical, better for the environment, better tasting, betters the local economy… but there are lots of sensical things that we all just ignore, for the most part. Why is the local movement so hip, so successful?? One could write a thesis on it. Or at least a real, real long article.

The local food movement wants us to change the way we think about our food. Wants us to reconsider the dirt and the farm and the farmer and the cook — the trip our food took to the table — before tucking in to our meals. “I think it gets down to human nature … how we as human beings want to function, and how the way we’ve been functioning [in terms of eating] is wrong,” said local chef Eric Bein of Station 400. “It’s a very passionate thing to eat something … you’re putting something into your body — it’s an intimate thing. But that’s been taken out of it. There’s no identification with the food. It’s just to fill the stomach, fill the gas tank up. People don’t think about the food that they eat and where it comes from … but I think we should and we need to.”

Proponents of local food are realizing this need and emphasizing the roots of not just the food Americans eat food but to the country itself, harking back to the idea of America as an agricultural nation. “People are starting to realize … that this is how it used to be,” explained Bein. “America was built on agriculture, it was built on small farms, it was built on people breaking bread as a family.”

The local food movement is based on this “back to the land” principle, an idea that’s been manifested in a wide variety of campaigns and changes. Bein wants to bring this homeland ethic into his restaurant with tasty local eggs and produce. Others hope to fill their table with the yields of their own gardens and more yet are moving toward simply keeping their dollars in the local economy, shifting their purchases from shipped-in strawberries to the ones picked just 70 miles away.

You know you wanna know what happens next…