Much of Texas is farm country, and there were all kinds of wonderful things in season there — watermelons, canteloupe, and peaches from Fredricksburg, which is in the hill country west of Austin. There were local pecans and candied jalapenos. Every small town had a ‘meat market’ run by old-style butchers.

But there was something very different about the whole experience. Like the Ford F250 trucks parked in front of every junior mansion. The scarcity of sidewalks and parks and even trees. The scorching high-90s temps that drove everybody indoors, into climate-controlled rooms. I got a lot of stares one afternoon when I went for a run. It was all a good reminder that eating locally is just one part of the equation.

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