I’m not a foodie. I can’t differentiate between this technique and the next, but I’m becoming a more educated food shopper.

Carrie Parsons of Grateful Growers and Harvest Moon Restaurant

Carrie Parsons of Grateful Growers and Harvest Moon Restaurant at TEDxCharlotte

When I travel I like stopping in little towns, as I’ve said before. I like getting to know the flavor of the place, so to speak, including the local cuisine.

Here’s the question I ask to find the right place to eat: Do you know a restaurant where real people make their own food and serve it on real plates instead of throwaway stuff?

It’s disheartening how many times people can’t give me an answer. Once, in a small Kansas town, I had to ask twice before a mother and daughter were able to direct me to a Mexican restaurant inside a Days Inn. I was dubious at first, because my experience with hotel food is that it’s manufactured somewhere and trucked in, cut out of a box, assembled, and served up. Not true at this place. They really cared about whether I enjoyed my food–and it was delicious.

Just goes to show, ASK A LOCAL!

This past week I had the great fortune of going to TEDxCharlotte and hearing one of the speakers talk about her experience as a hog farmer and┬árestauranteur. Her restaurant serves only food that’s grown in a 100 mile radius (okay, except for the olive oil and some of the spices). The video below isn’t her TED talk, but it tells you the story.

Today, I’m going to ask you to be a food champion. Don’t go to a place where food comes off the back of a truck, and gets warmed up in a microwave. It may take some effort, but find a place where real people cut up and cook real food and serve it on real plates. I guarantee you’ll thank me for the challenge. Let me know how it goes, okay?