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The new provincialism?

(article, Culinate staff)

Two months ago, we were amused here in Portland, Oregon, by a local ruckus over locavorism: two food pros fistfighting it out over a pig-cooking contest. (Local alt-weekly Willamette Week had excellent mug shots of the carousers in question, Eric Bechard and Brady Lowe.) Now comes the New York Times' take on it, putting a tussle over locavorism within a broader context it dubs '"the

At issue? Whether a local-food lover can support something local and national at the same time. The chef contretemps, for example, was over whether a local heritage-breed pig (Bechard's viewpoint) or a heritage-breed pig from the Midwest (Lowe's turn) should have won the Cochon 555 contest. The Times goes on to ask whether true locavores can honestly support, say, Stumptown Coffee, a Portland-based roaster that has recently expanded to New York and Amsterdam:

bq. As the city’s corner coffee shops, indie bands, and handmade bicycles have gained national and international renown, becoming — gasp — brand names, cries of corporatism have followed them. In another city, it might seem a quaint debate. Not here. 

Is provincialism a good thing or a bad thing? Depends, as always, on the context. Witness the even more recent Times story about an enterprising Michigan teen who runs her own CSA, in which the supposedly sophisticated New Yorker reporter is amused by those gosh-darn, aw-shucks Midwesterners:

bq. While her peers are hanging out at Molly’s Mystic Freeze and working out the moves to that Miley Cyrus video, she’s flicking potato-beetle larvae off of leaves in her V-neck T-shirt and denim capris, a barrette keeping her hair out of her demurely made-up eyes. Who says the face of American farming is a 57-year-old man with a John Deere cap?