by Tara Morgan
BW stopped by the Boise State Food Security Symposium on Sept. 2 and caught Red Feather and Bittercreek restaurateur Dave Krick’s speech on the logistics of buying local. Krick talked about some of the hurdles he and his employees have faced in an ongoing struggle to source sustainable, locally grown and locally produced items for his businesses.
One example he gave was about eliminating tomatoes from the menu during the off-season.
“We embraced the idea that you only get tomatoes two months a year,” said Krick. “We’ve survived; we’ve lived past not having tomatoes in the wintertime.”
The next move for Krick and Co. is the eventual removal of chicken breast from the menu—a popular item in both restaurants. Apparently, it’s difficult to source enough local, humanely raised chicken to satisfy the white meat, breast-hungry hordes.
While these moves have temporarily ruffled some patrons’ feathers, Krick insisted it’s all part of his plan to go from sourcing 60 percent to 75 percent of products locally. To handle that change, both restaurants will undergo a complete remodel in January 2012 with the intention of making more items—like soda and beer—in-house.
Here’s a clip of Krick explaining how a seemingly small adjustment—moving from selling frozen french fries to hand-cut fries—drastically changed his business, reduced waste and energy consumption and provided jobs in the community along the way.
After Krick’s speech, we hit up the B29 Streatery food truck for an all-local lunch that included a barbecue pork sandwich and a hummus and roasted pepper sandwich.
In line, we bumped into another of the symposium’s speakers Gary Nabhan, who gave a talk titled, “Water Scarcity, Food Diversity and Food Security in the Arid West." The speech detailed the challenges we face because of lack of water and infrastructure, as well as how our communities can overcome those barriers.
Nabhan was enthusiastic about how far Boise’s local food community has come in the past five years and pointed out that local food security will require a wide array of proponents before it can be fully actualized.
“You don’t have to be just a farmer or rancher or chef to be involved in this work. There’s faith-based organizations, hunger-relief organizations, artists [and] middle men,” said Nabhan. “Really, to rebuild a whole food system so that it’s healthy for the land and healthy for the people, you need such a cross-section of people … You don’t have to be a foodie or a farmer to have a positive impact.”