Local food equals good politics and good eatin’, too!; Andy Ayers

This platform address will explore the movement to local foods that led the New Oxford American Dictionary to christen as its “new word of 2007” the word “locovore.” This movement has developed tremendous momentum solely due to grassroots interest – without the help of politicians, lobbyists or corporate sponsors – because it just makes so darn much sense to so many Americans. Eating local presents people with the opportunity to improve the environment, support hard-working farmers and take an ethical stand against the pervasiveness of commercialism in American life while enjoying a healthier lifestyle and the best tasting food available anywhere.

Andy Ayers and his wife, Paula, owned and operated Riddle’s Restaurant in Bel Nor where they began featuring locally grown ingredients on the menu in the early 1980’s. The couple opened Riddle’s Penultimate Café and Wine Bar in the University City Loop in 1985 and ran it for 23 years before selling the restaurant to their daughter, KT, who operates it now.

An advocate, writer and speaker on behalf of local foods and local growers, Andy received the Lewis C. Green Environmental Service Award in 2006 for his work. Since leaving the restaurant to the next generation, Andy is growing a new start-up business that distributes food directly from local farms to the best restaurant kitchens in the St. Louis area.