Bites for $5 or less at first Boston Local Food Fest

Shelly Runyon | 9/28/2010, 7 p.m.

The Boston Local Food Festival also will act as an example of how others can take part in large-scale sustainability and recycling. The Festival will bring in its own supply of local water with two stations where people can fill their water bottles. No bottled water or soda is allowed. It will also be a zero-waste event, meaning that 90 percent of all waste will be recycled. All utensils, plates and cups will be compostable and Styrofoam will not be present.

Laury Hammel, SBN executive Director and Local Food Festival visionary, said that he thinks that asking local restaurants to participate in the Festival and having Lionette teach them where to buy local products and sustainable utensils is having an impact. The Festival is bringing about “a transformation of the local food system,” Hammel said.

As Hammel bit into a local apple, he explained that his “absolute passion for locally grown apples” was the source of his vision for the Local Food Festival.

“If you think about the fact that we are eating a lot of apples in Massachusetts and Boston that come from outside New England it’s a little bit crazy,” he said, “Why we would ever ship an apple outside of Boston until we were completely filled? I can’t imagine it!”

He wants to change a startling fact. “Less than five percent of the food we eat in Massachusetts comes from Massachusetts,” he said.

More important, he is ready to show every resident of Boston just how to change that statistic. “When you come to this festival,” he said, “You are going to see things that you’ve never seen before, you’re going to taste things you’ve never tasted before, you’re going to find out about things you didn’t know existed.”