Friday, April 27, 2007

Local Food in the News?

Every week I scan the Food section of the Tuesday edition of the Columbian hoping to find ANYTHING related to the local food scene. Given I can always count on seeing the Health Inspection results and the list of upcoming tastings & classes. But this information is supplied to the newspaper by others with no journalistic effort on the Columbian's part. I know there is always a gratuitous, poorly written restaurant review in the Friday Entertainment guide, hacked out by someone whose restaurant experience obvious adds up to, "Ummm...I like to eat at restaurants. I must be qualified to write a restaurant review." Whoopee. Is there really nothing of interest, gastronomically speaking, going on in our entire county that will move the staff of the Columbian to pick up a pen and write even a few short paragraphs? I guess that if it requires actual reporting, then the Columbian must not be interested in taking on the challenge. Well here's what I think should happen.


Save yourselves a few bucks and stop wasting our time or put forth at least a minimum amount of effort to provide some content besides AP articles or articles and recipes gleaned from the efforts of real journalists.

This week I was all set to be as disappointed as always with the lack of local information until I noticed something on the back page, in the lower right hand corner, occupying a obscure column was the annual Columbian call for farmers to be listed in the annual Clark County Farm Fresh Guide. Do the folks at the Columbian actually want submissions or are they hoping that nobody sees the information, thereby keeping the workload for the Farm Guide to a minimum? In addition to keeping the invitation to be a part of the Farm Guide a virtual secret, the qualifications for being listed in the guide manage to occlude some of our most innovative, sustainable, and valuable farmers by stating if you don't have a farm stand open to the public on your farm, then don't bother asking to be listed. Well that leaves out the CSA farmers, the folks who grow all sorts of specialty livestock & produce for the commercial trade, and the folks who may not open their farm to the public but they can certainly be publicly accessed via their stands at local farmers markets for a good portion of the year. Why is it that these folks have less value than the farmers who have decided to sell to the public from stands on the farm itself? Truth is, they don't.

Come on Columbian. You can do better than this.

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