Hog Wild: Portland's Eat Local Brawl

Sometimes eating locally isn't all unicorns and rainbows.

Recently, in Portland, OR, there was a throw down over some non-local pigs at Cochon 555, a national culinary contest, involving Eric Bechard, a farm-to-table restauranteur. From the New York Times:

“I get there and I get the flier and I’m immediately sickened because I’m seeing ‘local,’ ‘sustainable,’ ‘local farms,’ ‘local chefs,’ ‘local wine,’ ” Mr. Bechard recalled, “and then two of the pigs are from Kansas and Iowa? I’m looking at my friend and he said, ‘Eric, just let it go.’ ”

Many hours and drinks and insults later, witnesses told police Mr. Bechard was the aggressor when he encountered Brady Lowe, the event’s Atlanta-based organizer, outside a bar. Words were hurled and fists flew. The police came, firing Tasers and pepper spray.

The brawl is only part of a story that focuses on size versus sustainability and local versus profitable in a complicated town deeply invested in its unique culture. Worth a read.