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Boston Local Food Festival brings on ‘unadulterated’ fun with organic, artisanal produce

The Boston Local Food Festival this past weekend was at Fort Point Channel, right in front of the Boston Children’s Museum. The Sustainable Business Network invited everyone out for various fun, informative programs and lots of local food. The festival was free to the public with many free samples but at some food stands were dishes for $5 or less. The focus of the festival was eating local, organic foods and supporting zero waste, fair trade and farm to table practices.

Eating organic, fertilizers, pesticides, and knowing where your food came from was the focus of the festival. Organizations supported eating healthy, chemical- and pesticide-free food. A crop share was also featured, where attendees could bring crops from their own farms and trade with others. It’s nice knowing these things, but I also think some organizations exaggerated information to scare the public into eating “organic” or “healthy”. One table had a display of the amount of sugar in name-brand soft drinks, but used about 200 mg of sugar to represent 35 mg of sugar. These things scare people away from eating foods that aren’t necessarily terrible for them.

Demos included butchering farm animals, cooking instructions, vegan recipes and much more. Local chefs gathered ingredients from various vendors around the festival and used these ingredients to cook up dishes that could be sampled by the public. They made up the recipes on the spot, based on the fruits, vegetables, and herbs they could buy from the local farms.

Moving on to the best part: the food! There were many vendors at the fair, both local restaurants and local farms. Various specialty foods such as kale chips, fruit sodas, local dried fruits, and chocolates were also featured. Some of the restaurants that were there included Flour Bakery & Café, B. Good, Sportello, and Flatbread Company. These vendors had small plates or samples for $5 or less. Sportello featured a pork belly sandwich stuffed with salty, tender pork belly and pickled red peppers and cabbage on a soft foccacia roll. Right next door, a long line ran down the path for a vendor selling fresh lobster patties drizzled with olive oil and vegan burgers. There were ethnic restaurants for Thai and Indian food, among many others. Fair-trade coffee, local chocolate, local ice cream, and many other treats rounded off the meal with something sweet.

Everything I tried—which was a lot—was quite tasty and made even better because it was in support of local and sustainable farms or restaurants that support farm-to-table practices. The Boston Local Food Festival is an annual event, so make the plans to attend next year! Be there to support the local farmers, urban food initiatives, healthy eating and helping the environment. There’s a lot of good food to be had as well as many free samples; it was both a delicious and educational experience! Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to further the mission of sustainability and local trade: get vegetables from local farms and buy meat at butchers, visit a local fishmonger and ask for the freshest pick and how to prepare it, compost any wastes and use fewer disposable utensils, reuse bags and bottles, recycle(!), and visit a local farm!

– Photos, Article by Christina Pan


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