A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 16, 2011
Localwashing (local + whitewash)

“Localwashing” (local + whitewash) is when a restaurant advertises that it uses locally grown foods (or when a food product claims to be locally grown), but the authenticity of the “local” claim can be disputed. “Localwashing” is similar to the word “greenwashing,” coined in 1986 to describe products with deceptive claims to being environmentally friendly.
The word “localwashing” (or “local washing”) has been cited in print since at least December 2008 and May 2009.
Pic: Localwashing At Whole Foods Share
December 8, 2008
We thought this call out in the NYC Union Square Whole Foods felt a little like ‘localwashing’. Sure, these signs point to local brands – but not locally sourced products. We’re sure Brooklyn’s Gorilla Coffee people are psyched that the retailer is carrying their coffee but it’s not like they’re actually growing the stuff in the middle of Prospect Park.
Daily Blender
Are You Getting ‘Localwashed’?
13 May 2009
While I’m certainly encouraged by the growing use of local food producers, I’m concerned as well about possible ‘greenwashing’, or ‘localwashing’ – the practice by some companies of utilizing key terms, like ‘local’, ‘green’, ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, or ‘natural’ to merely sell more food products.
To ensure that you’re not being ‘localwashed’, become an educated consumer. Ask where your food stuffs are produced. Inquire as to whether the production is sustainable, organic, and/or natural. Best of all, don’t believe everything you read. Sometimes, it’s just for the sale!
Local reading, the nonlocal edition: The dawn of “localwashing”?; Salt Lake’s No. 1 local food is Jell-O?!
Posted by Sunset, June 2, 2009
by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher
The “Lay’s Local” campaign is trying to associate themselves with the local-food movement: Their product seems fresh (grown by potato farmers in California! and Maine! and Florida!), and it gains a whiff of the wholesomeness of the get-your-hands-dirty folks who have been pushing for local food on blogs like this one. In response, some local-foodies have started throwing out the term “localwashing,” a relative of “greenwashing” (when you try to make your product seem more environmentally conscious than it is).
‘Localwashing’ in pictures—bogus marketing at its finest
by Jonathan Hiskes
4 Sep 2009 1:12 PM
Local food, local goods, local everything is in, as you’ve no doubt heard. Local is fresher. Local burns less shipping fuel. Local keeps the wealth nearby.
Naturally, there’s money to be made off local, so big businesses are muscling into the game. The emerging term is localwashing—a variation on greenwashing wherein businesses claim to be local when actually ... you get it.
OCLC WorldCat record
Localwashing: How corporate America is co-opting “local”
Author: S Mitchell
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: UTNE READER -NEW SERIES- no. 156, (2009): 11-16
Database: British Library Serials
Fast Company
McDonald’s Goes “Green” With Localwashing Scheme
BY Ariel Schwartz
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Is McDonald’s a responsible purveyor of local foods? That’s what a series of billboards in Seattle would have potential customers believe. The billboards (courtesy of Grist) feature pictures of McDonald’s french fries side by side with potatoes that were supposedly grown in the neighboring area. But while this may be an egregious display of localwashing, it might also be true.
Localwashing—the practice, in this case, of hawking local ingredients that only tell part of a much larger unsustainable story—is growing in tandem with the public’s increasing interest in all things green.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 • Permalink

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