Friday, October 06, 2006

Think Local, Think Slow

I’ve added two links to the sidebar and I expect everyone to check them out and write a short essay on what you learned. How about two pages, double-spaced?

Just kidding, but if you aren’t familiar with these folks, you really should be.

Appellation America is dedicated to recognizing and promoting American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). These are the recognized grape growing areas of the United States. California, obviously, has the most AVAs, but a surprising number of other states have AVAs. It might surprise some of you that North Carolina has one and Virginia has seven.

Not surprisingly, South Carolina has zip.

Identifying these regions is very important for creating a real appreciation of U.S. wines and the unique potential of these growing areas. Wine is being produced in just about every state across the country. As more wineries open up, we need to create the same sort of appellation system that other countries have.

Local wineries are good for everyone, and everyone should support them. They bring tourists, spread awareness of local products and are a great asset to any community. Support your local wine!

Even if it’s muscadine wine.

Although to be fair—many, many Southern wineries are having great success with French-American hybrid and vinifera grapes. Check out Shelton Vineyards and Westbend Vineyards.

The other new link is to Slow Food USA. This group is fighting the global industrialization and homogenization of food. Their goal is to preserve local and regional diversity of foods and flavors.

In a more general sense, they are asking people to slow down and appreciate the subtle pleasures of dining. They promote everything from growing and cooking your own food to patronizing local businesses instead of national or international chains and encouraging local businesses to carry locally-produced goods.

Instead of tossing back a McDonald’s burger in the car, stop at your local burger joint—like Edna’s on River Drive. Instead giving your money to Walmart, support your local merchants—like Rosewood Market. Take some time to enjoy a meal with friends and/or family.

I know as well as anyone how hard this can be, but I try to get a little better all the time.

Both of these sites are dedicated to the local products, diversity and character that are rapidly disappearing around the globe. Reading what these people have to say inspires me to do better in my own life and consumption habits.

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