Locavores Gone Wild?

The winner of food writer Michael Ruhlman‘s “BLT from Scratch Challenge,” Jared Dunnohew, harvested his own salt from sea water (25 liters for one kilo of salt), smoked his own bacon (with wood gathered from local parks), and made his own mustard and vinegar for homemade mayonnaise. He outlined the whole process with this photographic flowchart. (HT: Kottke) [%comments]


Wow. Just, wow.

Also, does it bother anyone that the whole thing is for a BLT with PORK, when pig-farming is generally one of the worst offenders in ecological impact? It's the one ingredient with no provenance in the whole flow chart.


Man, now I'm sorely tempted to make my own bacon. I've seen how the internet reacts to bacon, too - a series on making bacon might be a decent traffic driver for a personal blog.


It does not appear from that flow chart that he killed and butchered his own swine....


i'm sure that's scalable to 6 billion portions/day...


He also does not appear to have raised his own chickens for the eggs in the mayonnaise.


Doesn't matter how local everything else is if you're eating swine belly that you bought from the store. Does more environmental damage raising that pig than shipping the lettuce and tomato would have.


Dude, we specialize for a reason...


No, it's not scalable to 6 billion, but that's sort of the point: built into the locavore idea is the notion that we've achieved 6 billion by living non-sustainably. This bubble is bound to burst, unless both a) Exxon is correct and oil is a renewable resource, and b) that our transgenic monocrops will defy billions of years of natural selection and somehow not become subject to the fate of every other population of organisms exhibiting limited diversity.

Locavory (to me) is both a means of preserving diversity (and thus our food supply), since lovavory and 'Slow Foods' are difficult to separate, and a way to be prepared for the inevitable collision of stool with oscillating blades.


That guy really likes to take shortcuts. Safflower oil, flour, pork - so many things are not "from scratch". Grow your own wheat and grind it into flour, then we'll talk.


Putting the loca in locavore


Gathering sea salt from the ocean seems like an amazing idea, but, at least in LA, how safe is the ocean water to do that?


Wow - why all the criticism for what's essentially just a bit of fun for people who like to cook? The original rules never said anything about promoting a completely eco-friendly or sustainable --

"No, this does not mean raising a piglet for the bacon or growing your own wheat to grind into flour. Yes, extra credit for either, but I want this to be a challenge that everyone can accept, whether you live in a Manhattan walk-up or rural North Carolina, Alaska or suburban splendor...

From scratch means: You grow your tomato, you grow your lettuce, you cure your own bacon or pancetta, you bake your own bread (wild yeast preferred and gets higher marks but is not required), you make your own mayo."

Is there really a point to being inflexibly self-righteous on the Internet, or do we just love to demonstrate our own cleverness by nitpicking other people's good times?


And the mustard seeds weren't from his garden, I'd guess, but that's the beauty of spices. They're great because they are grown in their specific area, and it's part of their flavor. It's also why they're valuable, and have been used as currency from time to time.

Chickens though, anyone can do.


I bet he didn't even build his own oven to bake that bread. And his electricity's probably not generated from a bicycle-powered generator that he also mined, smelted, and welded himself!


What a weak attempt. If you wish to make a BLT from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

(with apologies to Dr Sagan)


@Tzipporah #1: "Does it bother anyone that the whole thing is for a BLT with PORK, when pig-farming is generally one of the worst offenders in ecological impact?"

No. Because--to quote Homer Simpson, "The pig is a wonderful, magical animal."



A couple that I know have a cafe/bakery located on a small farm near Victoria, British Columbia, called 'The Roost' and they grow much of what they serve in their restaurant.

Last year, their head baker, took the '100 mile' diet approach much further and made '5 mile bread' with harvested sea salt from the beach at the bottom of the hill as the furthest travelled ingredient.

As you might guess, while they took great pride in their finished product, the effort involved helped my friends to better understand the benefits of the division of labour.