It is time once again for the Eat Local Challenge, a full month of devoting oneself to sourcing local ingredients for your culinary creations, discovering eateries that share the same passion you do for local and sustainable food, and of course for developing relationships with the food you put on your table and the people who produce it.
One could certainly argue that this devotion to eating locally produced foods should not be limited to a month long challenge, and should be incorporated into our daily lives as much as reasonably possible. But any forward motion in the right direction is a good thing, and if this month of eating locally inspires one more person to pay attention, then the challenge is a success. This month gives us all a opportunity to open a conversation about our food, where it comes from, and how it is produced.
For more info on the Eat Local Challenge 2008, visit their website here. For more info on eating local, sustainable foods, check out these sites:
100 Mile Diet
Eat Local SF
My Eat Local Challenge Pledge:
1: For me, local is Northern & Central California. I live in San Francisco but grew up in the Central Valley, and still consider it home. (Sometimes.) Plus, the Central Valley is the richest agricultural valley in the world, and I will gladly support those hard working farmers who labor each day to keep it that way.
2: Exemptions - Coffee. Although not local, I will continue to purchase coffee grown in sustainable conditions, by farmers who are paid a fair wage and given the working conditions they deserve. Spices, also, should I not be able to find a local source.
3: My goal for this challenge is to up the ante from last year, and discover new ways to make sure my food dollars stay local. It should be mentioned that no body is perfect, and while I will do my best to eat local in my home and at restaurants when I can,there will be times when it just won't be feasible. I won't insult anyone who is sharing their food with me by hoisting on them my own agenda or declining their meal because it may not be locally produced. I truly hope to challenge myself to find new ways of sourcing local food, and start thinking like a true Locavore. Most importantly, I hope to help spread the word about the values of eating locally through conversations with friends and strangers, and of course this here blog.
So, if I have enticed any of you to take the plunge and start eating locally, if even for a month, a week, a day, whatever, then I have done my job. I hope you all will join me. Enjoy!