Ed Crowell, Kitty Crider, Dale Rice, and Renee Studebaker of the Austin American-Statesman all spent an entire week in April as locavores, trying their best to eat only food that was grown and manufactured within a 200-mile radius of Austin. Crider points out that "while Texas is a large agricultural state, Travis County is not," and so while there were many things they chose to do without (bananas, tortilla chips), there are also foods they expanded their definitions to include (oranges from the Rio Grande Valley, seafood from the Gulf), and others they rationalized into keeping like coffee, tea and spices saying, "after all, this country's pioneers traded afar for those things, too."
All four writers kept detailed diaries of where they shopped, what they ate and how they made it during their seven day experiment; they all ended up cooking much more than usual and eating out rarely, if at all. The diaries are an interesting read whether you're already a locavore, just thinking about, or think it's hogwash because at the very least you're bound to learn something about how other people make creative use of what they have at hand, which is really what cooking is all about. Crowell had a lot of difficulty finding food but concluded, "I'll continue to use more local foods because the fresh taste is better and I'd rather trust food from a farmer met at a market than an anonymous string of growers, packers and transporters."
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