0244: /pantry


What would a shared neighborhood pantry look like?  This.

You just got a great recipe online for jambalaya and you have all the ingredients needed to pull it off… except one.  One bay leaf.   Now you are left with some choices.  Get yourself down to the grocery store, fighting 6 pm rush hour traffic, and grab a $7 container of bay leaves of which you may use three single leaves over the next year.  Or don’t include the bay leaf, and always wonder what your dish would have tasted like if you had made it properly.

With the local web, there is a third option.  Post your request for a single bay leaf to localweb.is/pantry.   There is a good chance that someone within a 3 minute walk has a single bay leaf they can spare. /pantry or “slash pantry” is an experiment and a movement.  It’s a way to share the items in your cupboards with your neighbors but without some centralized pantry or food bank.  People post requests of what they need and others offer to help.  Or if you are going on vacation and you just got a dozen eggs that won’t last, offer it up to /pantry.  Or you thought you were being adventurous with those kale chips but it turns out they aren’t your thing.  Well someone on /pantry might want them, or at least try them.

/pantry works well in suburban neighborhoods but really shines in urban cities where it feels as if an entire apartment building is pooling resources.  While sharing food stuffs is convenient, in the process of doing so residents are also sharing recipes, cooking tips, and interactions that is bringing everyone a little bit closer together.

A few generations ago people would think nothing of going next door to borrow a cup of sugar.  Then the internet happened and things changed and people became siloed.  Then the local web happened and the silos were opened up and sugar again flows freely with the magic of /pantry.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Joanna Alderson on Flickr