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Ohio University sophomore Seth Atkins makes pork tacos at Kiser's Barbeque on Court Street in Athens, Ohio, on Monday, November 2, 2015. Kiser's is one of the many participants in the 30 Mile Meal. 

The Athens County Visitors Bureau welcomes you to dig into 'super- or hyper-local' food every Tuesday

30 Mile Meal works to promote the Athens food scene and encourage people to eat locally.

Athens takes "local food" to a new level, Paige Alost, executive director at the Athens County Visitors Bureau said. 

“Typically as a rule, ‘local food’ means food sourced within 100 miles of a certain location,” Alost said. “For 30 Mile Meal, we wanted it to be what we call super- or hyper-local and so we went with a 30-mile radius of Athens.”

30 Mile Meal occurs on the first Tuesday of every month. The movement is a partnership between the Athens County Visitors Bureau, which promotes the program, and the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, a nonprofit that provides technical assistance for start-up businesses in the area. 

Although not necessarily an organized event, the first Tuesday of every month is promoted "socially" as “30 Mile Meal Night” to encourage and remind the community to eat locally, Alost said.

The program includes more than 140 partners in a 30-mile radius of Athens. Those partners consist of restaurants, food producers, breweries, wineries, farmers markets, food trucks and events such as the Ohio Pawpaw Festival and Ohio Brew Week, Alost said.

For example, Alost said about 80 percent of what Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery produces is sourced locally and about 90 percent of Casa Nueva’s menu is made of local ingredients.

For 30 Mile Meal Night, usually a dish or two is featured at one of the partner eateries in the Athens area to help promote the program, Alost said.

July is dedicated as “30 Mile Meal Month” and features weekly events centered on local food and spirits.

The program spreads the word about the local food scene to more than just Athens itself, Alost said. Promoting and advertising for 30 Mile Meal is done throughout Central Ohio, she added.

“We promote Athens as a food community to the Columbus market for people who are looking for new places to dine because it’s such an easy drive to get here from Columbus,” she said.

Another close partner with 30 Mile Meal is Kiser’s Barbeque, which features its Dexter Burger, which has ground beef that comes from Dexter Run Farms in Langsville, Ohio. In addition, Alex Hord, manager at Kiser’s Barbeque, said Kiser’s buys all of its bacon from Dexter Run Farms.

“We partner with Snowville Creamery, using their milk a lot," Hord said. "We use oats from Starline Organics. We have items on our menu that are mostly made with ingredients from right around here.”

Kiser’s uses local bee farm Cantrell Honey and Candles, Hord said, in a lot of its popular barbecue sauces as a sweetener.

Crumbs Bakery is one of 30 Mile Meal’s partners that provides food and ingredients to other partners such as Not Guilty Food Cart, Bagel Street Deli and Donkey Coffee and Espresso.

“I think it’s great to raise awareness of local products and when customers can make a choice to choose a local product and know you’re benefiting the community,” Jeremy Bowman, worker and owner at Crumbs Bakery, said.

A complete list of partners can be found at the Athens County Visitor's Bureau's website.


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