Kitchen Ink: Local Matters

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Eating food produced locally is a win-win-win proposition for everybody.

The consumer gets to dig into vitamin-rich comestibles with the freshest flavors and textures available. The nearby economy benefits by channeling the flow of money to stay largely within the community. The environment receives a boost with the diminishment of the harmful carbon footprint.

If all that sounds good to you, but you're still compulsively doing the bulk of your shopping and restauranting at mega-corporate establishments, then the upcoming Local Matters Local Food Week might switch a light bulb on above your noggin.

Local Matters describes itself as a not-for-profit organization "committed to making local, sustainably farmed, healthy food available to everyone." In order to spotlight those lofty and highly desirable goals, Local Matters has scheduled a busy week of events full of fun, great food and real-world illustrations of what the group stands for.

Jumpstarting the packed week of smartly conceived programs is the Market-to-Market bike ride on Saturday, Oct. 3. Basically, that's a collaboration and organized two-wheel jaunt between a couple of our most fabulous, heaviest local-leaning, boutique-rich food emporiums - the Hills Market and the North Market.

Participants (who pay $10) will start off with breakfast at either of the two markets then, armed with a "local food passport," will pedal the 13 miles to the other market. Along the way, they'll stop to get the passport validated at stations like Pattycake Bakery and organizations with stamping setups like Ohio Proud.

Bikers with completed passports will be rewarded with a reusable shopping and goodie bag filled with foodie treasures valued at several times the cost of admission.

But the Local Matters Local Food Week also has scheduled (the same day as the bike ride) the good-timing North Market Harvest Festival (with customer baking contests, live music, tons of terrific local produce and fun kiddie activities) as well as great-looking farm-to-plate cheffy dinners at Alana's and the Worthington Inn, a "Cow to Cone" tour of Jeni's ice cream production and much, much more.

What: Local Matters Local Food Week

When: Saturday-Friday, Oct. 3-9

Where: Multiple locations