Why You Should Eat Like a Local

by Rosie Hopegood

Part of what makes Malibu so beautiful — apart from the pristine beaches and rugged canyons, of course — are the small locally owned businesses that call it home. They are the heart and soul of the community, and are what makes our area so unique. At Rockwell Kitchen, we know that we are only as strong as the community around us — which is why we’re dedicated to supporting it wherever we can, and why we encourage you to do the same.

So what are the benefits of shopping and eating like a local? If the prospect of tucking into delicious, farm fresh food (hello, green shakshuka!) isn’t enough of an incentive, here are just a few of the reasons why buying and eating local is great for you and the community.

You’ll Support Local People

We might be small, but we are mighty. Small businesses are the largest employer nationally, employing 52% of the population. In fact, out of every three new jobs created, two are made by small businesses. 

By shopping and eating locally, you‘re not only supporting the business owner and their family, but their employees, as well. As we grow our business, the potential for employing even more lovely people who live in Malibu increases. Having grown up in Point Dume, our owner and executive chef Alla Rockwell is a native herself, meaning she knows the importance of nurturing our  community — as well as bringing good food to your table.

You Keep Money in the Local Community

If you spend $100 in a national chain, just 43 of those hard earned dollars will stay in the local community...ugh. But spend that same hundred bucks at a local business, and $68 will stay locally — good for the business and good for you. 

Spending locally helps build a local tax base, meaning there will be more money available to help keep Malibu beautiful.

You’ll Do Your Part for the Planet

Think about it.Do you really want a dish made from veggies grown a thousand miles away, wrapped in plastic, flown across the world, wrapped in more plastic, and then served up days (or even weeks) after they were picked? Or would you rather savor a tasty plate of farm fresh vegetables that were grown in organic Malibu soil, with minimal travel, supporting our local farmers? 

We know which one we’d go for any day.  

In the US, it’s estimated that meals travel 1,500 miles to get from the farm to your plate. But that’s not the Rockwell Kitchen way. When it comes to our dishes, we aim to source as many of our ingredients as possible from the local area, which keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum. Oh, and we also use biodegradable plates and reusable glass jars!

You Give Your Health a Boost

How far our food travels from the farm to our plate can impact our health, too. The more freshly harvested the fruit or vegetable, the less time there is for all those nutrients to degrade. 

Local farmers are also more likely to choose a wider array of crops than their larger counterparts. In large scale production farms, crops are chosen for their ability to last a long time on the shelf and ripen all at the same time. But local farmers are able to pick plant varieties more compatible with the area’s harvest season.This also means that, rather than thinking solely about shelf life, the farmers can pick crops with exciting colors and tantalizing flavors. These more varied foods will also promote genetic diversity, helping to preserve traditional varieties and varying the nutritional makeup of what’s on your plate.

We’d love to see you down at Rockwell Kitchen and are always happy to chat about where we source our tasty local ingredients. Our Pacific Lobster BLT is as fresh and vibrant as it comes — why not pop over and say hello?

Before becoming a journalist, Rosie Hopegood spent several years working as a chef in Europe and beyond. She now writes full time for newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and Reader’s Digest.