According to some sources, the word locavore was coined in 2005, just seven scant years ago. Within two years, it became the "word of the year" for 2007, according to the Oxford American Dictionary. The popularity of the word, and the idea behind it, continues to grow, changing the way we live and shop. A simple trip to most groceries and supermarkets proves it. Where, 10 year ago, there were mass-produced national beers, you'll find a darn good selection of Michigan brews. And that's just beer. Even large chains like Meijer and Kroger reserve shelf space for locally produced products.
As we are increasingly aware, not only is local food fresher and better for the planet, buying local products collectively pumps millions of dollars back into our Michigan economy. And not only does that money stay in the state, it also seems to be feeding an explosion of small-scale food products that are increasingly dotting local shelves. With this year's Food Issue, we hope to give a gander at some of them — and to drop the hint that they make good stocking stuffers.