Post of the Week: The New American Localism

Local food builds community!

I anticipate my Post of the Week shout-out will typically go to a fellow blogger, as it did in last Saturday’s inaugural post. But this week I just had to give the nod to a big news source, because this NPR post Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism, rang so many bells for me. The article covers a number of related trends that have us more locally focused: people are moving less, focused on eating and shopping local, giving to causes close to home, to name a few. And it pointed out something I missed in my earlier read of the Pew study that came out earlier this month: nearly 3/4 of Americans say they closely follow local news most of the time.

The term “New American Localism” is new to me, but the ideas it embodies are quite familiar. I set out 10 years ago to create Social Capital Inc. (SCI), with a keen desire to build community in a 21st century context. For a few years, I kept my work with SCI separate from some of my other pursuits, like cooking. But in recent years, I’ve come to see the synergy among these efforts–hey, nothing builds community like food, right?

This summer I participated in a consumer supported agriculture (CSA) for the first time, and my hometown of Woburn launched a new farmer’s market. The abundance of good, seasonal vegetables got a number of us connecting around creative ways to use this local bounty, Tweeting recipe ideas and questions with a #eatlocalWob tag. I wrote about this early in the season, and I know we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the potential for local food and community building.

This may be the first time I’ve heard of the term New American Localism; I hope I’ll be seeing it more in the days ahead! Thanks to SCI AmeriCorps alum Joel Wool for the heads up about the article!

About David

I'm a proud Dad and husband living in Woburn, MA, just north of Boston. I've created my Wordpress site as a place to put together and share my many diverse interests. These include my work at Social Capital Inc. (http://socialcapitalinc.org), my passion for good food & wine that I share at Cooking Chat (http://cookingchat.blogspot.com), poetry and photos (often inspired by the beautiful pond we live near), and my exploration of new places and ideas. In addition to those two websites above, here are other places you can find me online: Twitter: @socialcap (related to my work, most active handle), @davidbcrowley (general), @cookingchat @DC_Woburn (of local interest in & around my community, also what I use for FourSquare) Google+: David B. Crowley LindedIn: My profile Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidbcrowley Email: davidbcrowley AT gmail.com OK, I think that about covers it for now!
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2 Responses to Post of the Week: The New American Localism

  1. I hear you, David, about how our values can play themselves out in the personal choices we make–especially when it comes to what’s on our dinner table.

    I love the idea of sharing experiences with a tag like #eatlocalWob. I wonder if more of us could participate with an #eatlocalMA tag? It reminds me of a 2009 group experiment I participated in, spending one week with Colin Bevin’s plan to reduce our carbon footprints. He wrote the book No Impact Man, and later plotted out a way for all of us to try his method. (Here’s more info: http://noimpactproject.org/) It was helpful to read about other people’s experiences as I tried it.

    Glad to see you blogging! Good luck.

    AS

  2. David says:

    Hi Annie–Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I’m definitely interested in connecting with more people who share an interest in focusing on eating local and related values. There are a lot of neat things happening (I loosely know of efforts in Dorchester through Social Capital Inc.’s presence there), but it seems a bit Balkanized right now.

    I’m enjoying having this blog! I’ve been blogging for quite awhile at cookingchat.blogspot.com and I’ve been trying to post more at SCI, but it’s nice to have a space to pull together my various interests.

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