“We as a society and as an economy need to start optimizing for a large number of small things, not just relying on a small number of large things.”
– Woody Tasch, Founder of Slow Money Alliance.
This quote would resonate with most people who are thinking about the next generation. So then, what is the direction of restaurants in this next generation going to be? Are we happy eating at any establishment that is not a chain, a ‘large thing’? I think we can do better than that. I like this quote mainly because of the word ‘optimizing’ and I will explain myself.
While the global landscape of food needs is not always similar to the local food or ‘slow food’ revolution,
being conscious about how we treat our locale is one strong direction away from the previous generation.
This choice is further enhanced by the great public interest in Edmonton. Farmers markets are opening everywhere, people are growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in their backyards, the food truck revolution persists its passion with local ingredients featuring often on their menus, and many new restaurants are trying to use as much local ingredients as they can.
For me, personally, local-sourced or 100-mile eateries will play a big role in the next generation of restaurants. These restaurants will ‘optimize’ for us a large number of small things on to one plate.
This is an informed lifestyle choice I have made thanks to the enormous wealth of information there is out there, both for and against it.
(Here’s a link to some local food resources recommended by Slow Food Edmonton)
While it’s a certainty that Edmontonians love to spend money on food in restaurants, what would be great is if we could spend all that money in restaurants that actually help the local economies of our neighboring communities. In the following, I list a few restaurants that I fancy and that do their bit in trying to adhere to local ingredients. This list by no means is exhaustive.
(Here’s a link to some restaurants that support local food suggested by Live Local )
I am hoping to drive the point that whatever lifestyle you choose, is one that is chosen in an informed manner.
The Internet age we live in defines our personality by our tastes, choices and knowledge about them. It is crucial, I think, for us to be informed about what we like and do. Read, make a choice; whether it is veganism, raw food, gluten free food, local food or even deciding to stick with your current lifestyle. Make it a decision.
Why is this my personal choice? I think if every restaurant starts serving local ingredients in this food-loving city, we are going to have a real revolution: one where local produce is affordable for more people and where as a city we live and breathe in symbiosis with everything around us. The city as a whole will function towards ‘optimizing’ a large number of small things for us. Isn’t that a sweet dream?
Aditya (A.K.A BigAddie) is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta. He moved to Edmonton three years ago and has grown fond of the local food scene here. Currently, he is also the secretary of Slow Food Edmonton. His passion lies in advancing the slow food lifestyle and making it a more viable option for a larger demographic. His culinary hobbies lie in vegetarian cooking, baking breads and artisanal cheese making.
You can connect with him on Twitter @BigAddie
NextGen Speaks Out, our guest blogging series, is envisioned as a hub for information and discussion. NextGen is a non-political, non-denominational organization focused on giving all nextgeners a voice. NextGen does not represent the opinions expressed by the individual columnists.