McDonald’s billboards here in Michigan proudly proclaim that their breakfast sandwiches are made with Michigan eggs.
It’s a local food revolution, baby.
A question: If you’re on board with the 10×10 Local First Challenge to move $10 per week to local food sources for 10 weeks, does breakfast at McD’s count?
(You know what I’m screaming in my head, don’t you?)
The local foodie in me can’t decide whether I’m ticked at the company for potentially hoodwinking well-meaning wannabe locavores into appreciating a fast food Egg McMuffin, thinking they’re helping the economy or eating better food simply because it’s "local"…
…or if I simply tip my hat to McDonald’s for knowing their audience and jumping on the bandwagon of local foods, creating a great marketing scheme.
I’m guessing that most of McDonald’s eggs for the past few decades have come from Michigan, from the long white buildings fitted with massive exhaust fans that I can see not far down the road from our community here in West Michigan. There are some major egg producers here, and it makes sense for Mickie D’s to save on fuel costs and cut deals directly with the
farmers businessmen who produce the eggs.
They’re just now sharing that information because it’s haute couture and they might improve their image a bit. Lay’s potato chips are doing the exact same thing.
The marketing scheme begs the question:
What does eating locally mean?
I know that for me, it means sourcing food directly from the grower as much as possible, doing my utmost to find consciously raised animals and wholesome, preferably organic, produce.
It means eating with the seasons, rather than the loss leader sales (recipes in the next post!).
It means I will try to shop at Smart Choice Market instead of ordering online, for some things.
It means I’m making a big effort during the 10×10 challenge to move our entertainment/eating money locally – West Michigan beer and wine, small, locally owned restaurants.
How do you eat locally?
Have you seen my Local Real Food Resources for Grand Rapids, MI?
Local First Accomplishes its Goal!
Our West Michigan Local First chapter set a goal of 1,000 people moving $10/week for 10 weeks to local food sources.
Over the weekend, the 1000th pledge was taken! That’s $100,000 moved to local foods, and a great success for our entire community.
Local First is inviting the entire West Michigan community to celebrate this accomplishment on October 18th from 5-9pm at an event called Fork Fest (also on Facebook). This event, in its second year, is a harvest festival/food expo that focuses on the amazing variety and high quality of locally produced food and beverages.
The largest selection of any event of its type, over 35 Local First member vendors (see list below) will provide samples to attendees.
Sponsored by Valley City Linen, the event will be held in the greenhouses at Romence Gardens and The Fauxgrass Quartet will provide live music.
Fork Fest is family friendly. Tickets are $25, kids 10 and under are free.
Beer from Brewery Vivant, wine from Art of the Table, and cider from Vander Mill will be available at a cash bar. Tickets are available online now and will be available at the door.
My husband and I will be there, so if you go, be sure to say hi! And you can still sign the pledge and get started now, even though the 10 weeks have begun.
If you’re not in West Michigan, I’ve got another challenge you can pledge to try: October Unprocessed. Many of you already cook many things from scratch, but this challenge is for real: Only eating "unprocessed foods" for the entire month of October.
Local Foods in New Places
The 10×10 challenge is really taking root and making a difference. I just love this story from a local restaurant owner who took the pledge:
“The 10×10 Pledge has encouraged me to find new local products. It also was a great project for my kids. We started reading labels to determine where things are made. There are way more products made here than we ever knew!"
–Owner and Executive Chef Jenna Arcidiacono, Amore Trattoria Italiana, Comstock Park:
Check out all the eating we’re going to do at Fork Fest:
- Amore Trattoria ltaliana
- Art of the Table
- Bearboy Gourmet
- Brann’s Sizzling Steaks & Sports Grille
- Brewery Vivant
- Dancing Goat Creamery
- Derby Station
- Earthkeeper Farm
- Egg Roll Queens
- Essence Restaurant Group
- Forest Hills Foods
- The Gilmore Collection
- Gordon Water
- Grassfields Cheese
- Graydon’s Crossing
- Link Love
- Logan’s Alley
- Lubbers Family Farm
- Making Thyme Kitchen
- Old World Olive Press
- Patricia’s Chocolates
- Pietro’s Italian Restaurant
- The Silver Spork
- The Starving Artist
- Tolmans Wholesale Meats
- Tree Huggers
- Trillium Haven
- Twisted Rooster
- Uptown Kitchen
- Vertical Paradise Farms
- The Winchester
Way to go, West Michigan!
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
disclosure: I will receive my ticket to Fork Fest for free as a media sponsor of the 10×10 Challenge. See my full disclosure statement here.