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Letter to the editor: Tell Sherman to eat local

Editor:

Sorry, Dave Sherman, your call for more national fast-food chains in Buffalo is wrong. You mistake a strength — that Buffalo enjoys a culture of owner-operated restaurants ­­— for a weakness. National fast-food chains are not an indicator of progress. They’re simply outside corporations seeking to extract money from our economy to send back home to some other state.

Many local fast-food outlets buy the food locally. Try the french fries at Connors Hot Dog Stand. The potatoes are freshly dug in Brant and travel a few miles to Angola on the Lake. Do you think that Chick-fil-A is planning menus based on what is locally farmed here?

There’s a reason the national chains rely upon unpronounceable preservatives like dimethylpolysilxane (i.e. “Silly Putty.”)

The chains pre-prepare food in a massive out-of-state kitchen, freeze it, ship it across many states and then merely re-heat it for you and your kids. The locally owned restaurant has access to locally-grown food — cooked when you order it, not months in advance. When locals spend money locally, it lifts everyone. One study found that of your dollar spent at an area business, 68 percent remained reinvested locally.

In contrast, there was a loss of 23 percent when your dollar is spent at a non-local outfit: only 43 cents of your dollar remained local. Why ship out of town 23 cents of your own hard-earned dollar to line the pockets of an out-of-state CEO? You wouldn’t stand for a 23 cent tax surcharge. Why choose to send it out of your home town?

Area companies purchase goods from other local retailers and manufacturers, vehicles from local auto dealerships and rely on local individuals for professional services, such as accounting, human resources, legal and marketing. That trickle-down wealth effect that means that there will be jobs awaiting our kids when they graduate. What could contribute better to optimism about the future of the Buffalo-Niagara region than a culture of spending locally? Mr. Sherman, please stop wasting your money at national chains.

Instead, treat your family to more wholesome food that’s available in the owner-operated restaurants that grace the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Michelle Parker
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