The Opposite of Lazyvore – Practicavore?

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First there was the locavore – the folks who lived and breathed (as well as ate and drank) locally grown food. They enthusiastically joined CSAs, left their jobs in the city to start a farm, and launched local-food experiments in their backyards or window boxes.

Then there was the lazyvore – the media-created, slothful twin sibling to the locavore. The people who want their food local, but don’t want to lift a finger, or a shovel, or even a CSA canvas bag.

Now, locavore and lazyvore seem to be welcoming in yet another cousin – the practicavore (yes, this “adding vore to other words” thing could go on for just about ever.) The Washington Post documented the emerging trend yesterday in an article about people who are – either fed up with or economically hampered by rising food costs – growing their own food. Unlike the locavore who plants mostly out of a desire to get back to the land, the practicavore plants because food at the grocery store is just too darn expensive:

In the East New York section of Brooklyn, Marsha King, 29, a management consultant for churches, began to plant seeds for food a few months ago. “I watched the prices go up when I went to the supermarket. I’d say: Wow! This is $3?” she said.”

So what does the emergence of the Practicavore add to the larger sustainable food conversation? They indicate that – finally – the local foods movement is moving beyond the “elitist” foodie crowd and perhaps becoming a bit more…well…practical.

The contemporary local food movement has enjoyed nostalgic comparisons to the Victory Gardens of World War II, when people were encouraged to grow their own food to reduce pressure on the public food supply. (According to the Post article, “an estimated 40 percent of all vegetables consumed in the country in 1943″ came from Victory Gardens.)

But the comparison never feels quite right. Yes, growing your own is a great way to connect to your food’s “roots,” but when it comes to answering “what’s for dinner,” is it really necessary for the well-meaning locavore who can always head to Whole Foods when the going gets tough (or cold?). To the Practicavore, however, growing food has the added dimensions of being a significant money-saver and also lessens a households’ dependence on all that heavily politicized oil. And, in some ways, it is all the more inspiring to the lazyvores in the world. Because if they can do it, why aren’t you?

(Hat tip to Martin Kaminer. )

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Read the original Washington Post article.
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Will They Wipe Your Chin Too?

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5 Responses to “The Opposite of Lazyvore – Practicavore?”

  1. Kerr Says:

    You should read Sharon Astyk’s blog for how she does it. Living in upstate New York, she and her family thrive on what they grow and store, even in the winter months. She offers online classes in food storage and preservation, besides poking post-apocalyptic novels with rapier lit-crit. And she’s Jewish!

  2. JD Says:

    Where’s the Post article? I can’t find it on the website.

  3. Leah Koenig Says:

    Oops – thanks JD. I linked to Wikipedia instead of the Post – will fix now.

    Thanks for sharing Sharon’s blog Kerr!

  4. lauren ahkiam Says:

    i am excited by this manifestation of local eating, as i work in food access and equity. growing at home, as you say, is not only a great way to eat local, but also a great way for low-income folks to have affordable access to fresh produce (and healthy outdoor activity). there’s some cool stuff going on in various cities around the “edible schoolyard”. i would love to see this get more widespread, with community gardens at schools training kids how to garden, and parent-teacher trainings to spread the knowledge to parents to garden at home!

    but like many “green” activities, this is a bit trickier for renters. time for more community gardens, and time for incentives for landlords to help tenants “go green”! gardens, energy efficiency, shade trees, etc. maybe a LEED certification for existing multi-family units, and govt./market incentives for landlords who comply?

  5. Susan G Says:

    Heard an interesting piece on public radio about ‘farming’ in cities, not only for personal consumption but also as a 2nd income source. This was in a very urban African city.
    Funny about the words! We are addicted to spinning out sub-words, like -gate, now -vore.

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