When local starts to go global

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2011

Local is a word that is currently undergoing somewhat of a renaissance.

Not so long ago, Americans craved items from far-flung locations, but the realization that the price of these items is American jobs (and perhaps the future of America in general) has led to a new movement. Now words such as “hyperlocal” and “locavore” are trendy catchphrases without any of the hokey connotations the term “local” once held.

Hyperlocal news, one of the hottest areas of present-day media, concentrates on stories of interest not only to a particular area but a particular neighborhood or even a particular street. (L’Observateur has been on the cutting edge for decades now, and we didn’t even know it.) Locavores are people who only eat items caught or grown within a certain radius from their home. They are one of the most talked-about segments of present food culture and trends.

But the concept reaches far beyond the next hot thing. It has at its core values that have never gone out of style in the River Parishes — a belief that there are no people on the planet that do things better than we do them right here. After all, one would never seek out andouille made in New York or crawfish farmed in China. So why should there be a different standard for other goods and services?

The River Parishes have just about everything a person could need. Services, goods, recreation opportunities — they’re all here. It’s time to stop outsourcing to Jefferson and Orleans parishes when it comes to shopping and realize the best deals are right here in our own backyard.