In the News: How Local Is Contagious

Yesterday, the Hippo ran a story about Manchester restaurants striving to bring more local food into their kitchens. But this was no small article simply naming a few locations and the beginning of their adventure. This was more of an in-depth study on how New Hampshire is coming home, so as to speak, and how the momentum for local food is growing. Writer Heidi Masek got input from many restaurant owners, farmers, and local food leaders.

Chef Jeffrey Paige said it’s amazing that right now in New Hampshire you can find venison, buffalo, beef, pork and chicken raised locally, and probably eight or 10 different kinds of cheeses.

But although everyone is excited about local food, there remain many challenges to fully stocked restaurants. Masek says:

These [farms] are usually family businesses, though, and producers are working so hard on products that a lot of them don’t have time to market or distribute. “That’s the hard part of this whole process. The average chef works 60 hours per week,” Paige said. They need sourcing simplified.

And that’s one of the things a group of 50 to 75 people–farmers, producers, distributors, chefs, and others–met to work on in January at Cotton Restaurant in Manchester. It was a New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection meeting and they were starting to figure out ways to get more local products into Manchester restaurants. 

The bottom line of what the New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection does is to sustain New Hampshire farms — provide farmers with a reason not to sell to real estate brokers, Charlie Burke said. However, local foods are also safer, better and fresher.

Of course, there’s a lot more where this came from. The article also takes a look at what groups in all parts of the state and even over into Vermont are doing. It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole article on the Hippo‘s website.

And remember, you can always find local food near you in Rockingham, Strafford, and York counties with the help of Seacoast Harvest.

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