I love a good local product, but sometimes my favorite (or only) option means paying for shipping. Does that negate the good of buying local? I like to remind people that you can pry my coffee from my cold dead hands at this point, then I like to mention that some products-not just coffee- cannot be produced everywhere.
A recent indulgence just arrived in the mail. Birch syrup from Alaska! This is a product that is apparently only being commercially produced by one family/company in Alaska- so it is certainly a local product and my dollars are fairly directly going into their pockets.
Yesterday we tried the syrup. It was differnt but very good. The rest of the meal included local bacon, locally grown and milled wheat (made into pancake mix just a ways away) and some very local eggs from the chicken coop; of course with some locally roasted coffee as well.
The syrup cost the most, and had the most food miles but was still an amazing addition to the meal.
Sweeteners are one of the most difficult things to source locally (honey bees are not native to North America) and sustainably. We don’t have many sugar maples here, nor birch trees and I’m not sure how aspen syrup would turn out.