Locavore. It’s a term many businessmen may not be acquainted with, yet.
The locavore movement is spreading across the U.S. and elsewhere and is somewhat equated with sustainability and eco-consciousness, but for the most part it means eating locally produced, not-moved-long-distances-to-market foods.
Home gardens or grown by local commercial groups and farmers markets play a role in the efforts to eat what’s produced locally. A new restaurant in Boise has such an attitude. Buying everything from locally grown vegetables to locally produced meat products like Idaho-grown alligator and beverages from local wineries and breweries, they make a truly authentic cuisine.
I recently had a chance to visit with the one of the owners of the Sweetwater Tropic Zone, Joe Zimmerman. “We source virtually every ingredient so that we know where it comes from, how it was produced, and who handled it before we got it,” Zimmerman said. “We import many of our specialty ingredients such as our Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers from a farmer in the Dominican Republic.” He said since Boise is landlocked, the seafood is ordered directly from the boat captains in Hawaii and Florida with whom they have established relationships. They also get their shellfish from a cooperative in the Puget Sound.
“So far we have been able to achieve our goal of getting the fish from dock to our door within 12 hours, which is pretty darned cool,” he said. Joe explained how sourcing all of their food they can see where it really comes from. He said it’s a small eco-conscious decision he and his wife made when they opened the restaurant last year. But more than that, knowing where you get your food from makes sense, he said. You can really know who the grower is and the care they take in farming. By spreading the word, he hopes people will be a little more conscious themselves of what they eat and where it comes from.
“We’re hoping to inform the public of the local abundance of humanely, sustainably produced food, and reconnect people to the source of their food,” he said. I invited Joe to sit on the Business at its Best program. You can watch the interview below.
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Joe is sponsoring a Chef’s Night fund-raiser where a portion of proceeds benefits the Idaho Wildlife Rescue charity. It’s not only a great way to give, but a great way to get a little knowledge about the locavore movement.