I’ve lived in some pretty foodie places—Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Chamonix and Boulder. The last 12 years were in Boulder where what you eat, and refuse to eat based on principle, is a daily discussion among coworkers, family and friends. And now I am living in Cleveland—the town where everyone offers condolences when you tell them where you’re moving.
There is a lot of obesity and fast food outlets. But, I’m quickly seeing that there’s more than meets the eye here, as well. I landed in Cleveland a whole two days ago and already I’m learning there’s more than a dozen farmers’ markets, a co-op, Trader Joe’s, Nature’s Bin, a very alive local foods movement and a slew of ethnic groceries. I’m intrigued.
Our industry tends to highlight the coasts and select green pockets (Santa Fe, Austin, Boulder, Madison) assuming that the Midwest and South remain in the dark ages—or at least under the reign of food that’s fast, fried and processed. My next series of blog posts will explore Cleveland and Ohio’s food scene through the eyes of a dark green, core natural consumer. I hope to shed some light on:
- What are mass grocery stores doing in the Midwest?
- Why can Cleveland support a co-op when a town like Boulder can’t?
- Is healthy on the minds of the ethnic stores in Cleveland?
- How do the independents survive, or even thrive, here?
Who has access to healthy food options?
Did I mention that I have a 9-year old vegetarian daughter who is trained to read labels like a hawk? Grocery shopping is about to get interesting.