There are a lot of photos of Oberlin I could use, but this one depicts a small part of Oberlin that many never see. It is The Oberlin Market. It is the place that is different in Oberlin. There are many food stories in Oberlin, and this is just one that I really do not know. I know what the Market sells; I know that The Market is considerably more expensive than alternative markets that are anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes away. And there you have it: it does come down to money!
The relationship between food and money is ever present. But, in Oberlin, there are not many options. The IGA which is a wonderful place meets sudden needs, but it is limited if you are a very healthy eater. And because it is the only grocery store in town, it is more expensive. The owner is fairly new to town in the last few years, and he is working diligently to provide good food with good service. His heart is with the town.
In reading a book by David Orr, a local Oberlin resident but also an internationally known author and environmentalist, he speaks of one of the goals of The Oberlin Project dealing with sustainability and the uniqueness of the Oberlin approach. That is to have 70% of the food consumed in the Oberlin area to be produced in the Oberlin area. He also talks about the development of a food hub here. He is exactly right that distribution is also needing attention.
The Outdoor Farmers Market and the unique Indoor Farmers Market, which together provide locally grown and produced food all year round, is a growing concept but one that needs more education on every level since most folks anywhere have not yet learned to eat seasonally.
So, I have touched on a myriad of problems, and I would love to hear thoughts from followers on food and the concept of eating seasonally and food deserts even when we think we are not part of one. Food, money, forever linked, forever needed. There is so much more to think about and talk about. Please join me.