DeRushaEats: Do we talk too much about local food?

I had Kieran Folliard on WCCO radio this week to talk about his new 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey.  It’s delicious, incidentally.

But when I congratulated him on hiring Mike Phillips (of Craftsman fame) and the Green Ox initiative of curing their own meats, he quickly demurred and said that if you talk too much about that stuff, people will forget that he’s running a pub.

Here’s the interview. The Kieran interview starts 19:00 into the podcast and the Mike Phillips talk comes in at 31:20 or so:


“Well, we’re still trying to keep it real. These pubs are egalitarian gathering spots, they should be accessible,” Kieran said.
He told me that he’s been using fresh produce from local CSAs (community supported agriculture) for years, but he never talks about it.  Same with some of the fancier “foodie” food on his menu, bison and beef from local farms.  “We don’t even talk about it,” he noted.
He makes an interesting point about local food, I think.  When some people hear “local” or “organic” they immediately think “expensive” and “elitist.”
Do we spend too much time talking about this stuff? I know I like it if a restaurant sources their food locally, but I know I like it better if their food tastes fantastic. How do restaurants market this without overdoing it?
I suspect that the niche of people who care about local food is smaller than the niche of people who care about top-notch quality food. Do you think better of The Local or Kieran’s Pub knowing that they get produce from CSAs in the summer?