3 For 3 Eating at Local Restaurants   Leave a comment

So I had to drive to Carson City, Nevada yesterday to take the Nevada Certified Environmental Manager exam this morning. Usually I use these short business trips as excuses to get my once a year or two fix of national chain restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s, etc. It’s the lazy side of me that sees the name that means a known quantity and chooses that over chancing the unknown of a local restaurant. It’s the one thing that marketers have on me (at least I think it’s the one thing). All those ads make those restaurants seem attractive, so every once in a while I go to one and then remember that I don’t actually like most of those restaurants.

I’m so proud of myself though: for this trip I went 3 for 3 (meals) eating at locally (or regionally) owned restaurants. I guess it’s proof that blogging is making me more accountable to my own values. (And I do have to say that I had three great meals. I’m not usually a down-home diner kind of gal, but a vegetable eggs benedict in a croissant? So there! And so yummy!)

The reason that supporting local businesses is so important is because then your money is going directly into the pockets of people who need it (theoretically) as opposed to wealthy CEOs, and the money stays in the community. This is especially important in areas that are not wealthy. I was recently reminded of this when reading an article about the recovery (or not) in Haiti and the risk of putting too much effort into increasing tourism. Yes, tourism can be a big boost to a local economy. But only if the tourists stay at locally/regionally owned hotels/resorts, eat at locally owned restaurants, and spend money at local attractions. In so many places (read third-world countries) tourists stay in resorts, eat in restaurants, and play at attractions owned by wealthy outsiders. The local economy gets very little of the money, and in many cases the few local workers in those resorts don’t get paid a living wage.

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Posted September 21, 2010 by mayakey in conscious living, food, travel

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