Somewhat related to this thread... local first isn't something I thought about that much before moving to Grand Rapids, and I really got into it primarily because the farmer's market was such a good summer grocery option (and my g/f works for a university college related to agricultural science and has taught me a lot in terms of reasons to think about this ) and to some extent before that a lot of talk about this on Chicago's WBEZ NPR station. It turned out as I explored here that most of the restaurants here that I actually like are local first proponents. Then I started putting together some other connections in terms of how I had already been buying Midwestern beers preferentially since coming back to the Midwest and how many new breweries there are in Michigan that I didn't know about when I left five years ago. And driving back and forth from Chicago made me realize how many wineries there are here too, and some of them actually have pretty good wine (so now I have numerous bottles in my refrigerator). There's also ice cream that's made in the town I grew up in, which is 25 miles from here. All stuff I like quite independently of the fact that it's local -- I don't think I've ever had so many good cherries in one summer before. But the more I've thought about this, the more it also relates to a more unique issue of me being back in Michigan. As most of you know this state is hurting... economic crashing from the automotive industry on top of the recession, an outflight of young / talented / creative individuals as a result of the former. But it never really struck me until I lived in Chicago for a year to what extent Michigan lacks an internal consumer economy. We've been so used to building cars and shipping them out of the state and using the money we got back to buy fruit from Florida and wine from California that I could pretty literally grow up in Michigan and not really be exposed to Michigan wine at all, for instance. Here, anyway, local first seems really important not in a sort of "Buy American" sense of isolationism, but in the sense that we desperately need more internal commerce that sustains more of the short distance service jobs (restaurant staff, etc) that allows a culture to adhere to our towns and cities in Michigan that make them worth living in for young people with talent -- something that makes even Detroit (where there is some of this but honestly not as much as the size of the metro area would make one expect) night and day different from Chicago (where there certainly is this). I'm actually starting to think local first is a really important part of that equation. Any thoughts?