Eating Locally. Even Now

The NY Times has an excellent story this morning about eating locally-produced food — even at this time of year. Seems that some folks on Martha’s Vineyard have developed an informal barter/food economy, in which (for example) those who catch extra fish share them in the summer and those who put up large root cellars of vegetables share those in the winter.

Following Ms. Buhrman for a day or two as she gathers ingredients is a lesson in how to eat locally, even in the coldest days of winter. Because she seems to know everybody on the island who raises, catches or forages for food, it is also a glimpse of an alternative economy of eating, one in which modern capitalism takes a back seat to a looser, island-grown style of bartering.

In summer, for instance, Ms. Buhrman hands out ice from her freezers to help the local fishermen keep their catch cold. In winter, they repay her with fish, oysters and bay scallops.

“It’s just the way we do it here,” she said.

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