September 9, 2011

You want talk about local? What’s local? Which is local?


Sorry Connecticut Hens Connecticut Eggs sold at Whole Foods. I know “local is fresh” but I’m not sure you’re my first choice.

More than ever I’m hearing from customers (and employees) asking why we don’t tell folks what is local in our menu. It’s not a secret. Your order taker should be able to answer your questions. And it’s nothing we’re going to be coy about. Next time you’re by try us. But the world is just so jammed full of CT Hens-style messaging. I don’t know about you but I just shut my ears when I hear that stuff. I just tune out. And these issues are way too important to have you all tuning out.

For the record, neither of these eggs are eggs we use. And there are actually 3 farms represented here. The first, Connecticut Hens was not bought in CT, but in the Boston area at a Whole Foods. I looked them up, they are from a farmer’s cooperative in CT (several farms pooling resources to act like a larger company). Not organic or free range or any of that. And the eggs I got were not particularly fresh. The second is Diemand Farms, a non-organic egg producer in Western Mass. They’ve been around forever. Sort of like Chip-in (the egg farm we use), maybe a little larger, less transparent in their operations. Now the last is a bit of a trick. The Diemand box is actually used to sell some eggs from a kid’s back yard. See that label upper left? That’s the egg producer. He boxes a couple dozen a week and delivers them by bicycle to a place down the road from where I grew up: Uppingil farm. His birds eat worms and bugs and stuff.

Which is better? I don’t know. OK, I do know, but I’m not going to say. But I do think it’s amazing how different the real story is from what it might look like on supermarket shelves. You have regional local, real local, and super local (kid on bike recycling egg cartons). But if you looked at these, visually, you might think they went the opposite (might even miss the part about the kid).

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