Do you love the concept of keeping your business local? What do you normally do when you’re on vacation, though? Where do you buy gifts, souvenirs, or even eat? I’ve always wondered where hotels get food for the restaurants within them, and just assumed it was from a large company like Sodexo. That is, until I happily stumbled upon a few articles telling me otherwise!
Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC, two cities that I have been to, have seen the benefits of keeping local food within their restaurants and hotels. Let’s face it, keeping your business local sends a great message to your community, showing that you are part of the community, and want to help out in any way you can by giving back. The Four Seasons in Atlanta even has their own rooftop garden where they grow many of the foods used in their meals. How cool! An added bonus: local produce is fresher than produce that has been shipped because it can ripen naturally without being frozen while in transit. Another great restaurant in Atlanta with a rooftop garden, Ecco, is featured in the below video, found on 365 Atlanta, with an interview with executive chef, Craig Richards. Barrington’s Restaurant in Charlotte changes their menu seasonally, as local farmers obviously grow and harvest different things during each season. Buying seasonal products is also cheaper, since farmers grow an abundance of them, therefore lowering their cost.
Buying or eating local products/produce means that the products don’t have to travel a long distance, thus, resulting in less carbon dioxide emissions, since the farther the food or products are being imported from, the longer it takes for them to travel to you.
Not only is reducing our carbon footprint a major benefit of staying local, you are pumping cash directly into our economy, and not China’s, South America’s, or Europe’s! Isn’t that what we are all complaining about, anyways, that our economy is suffering? Well, buying local can help a little bit with that.
Hopefully, more and more restaurants, hotels, businesses, and just regular people like you and me will realize that staying local isn’t just a trendy or hipster thing to do, it should be a way of life.
For further reading, be sure to check these sites out: