Monday, August 01, 2005

The August Eat Local Challenge 2005

Wake up to a bowl of Sunshine: Start your day, your week, your month with a bowl of deliciousness.
photograph picture of green pluot, panir cheese and honeyed almonds
(Recipe at the bottom of this post)

You may or may not be aware of the Locavores who, for the month of August, invite others in the bay area to join us in an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco for an entire month.

Eating more and more local food is a goal I have slowly been working towards over the last year or so, anyway and I expect to continue, beyond the end of August, for the rest of my life. During this month, I will be making even more of a concerted effort to ask more questions about what I eat, learn about new sources for my food and get to know local farmers better.

Over the next few weeks, as I go about this challenge, I will be sharing my local experiences, my successes and failures, my weaknesses and strengths and information about local sources for food alongside regular posts on my blog.

People outside the Bay Area will probably discover that we are a little spoilt here in San Francisco, with the wealth of great locally produced food we have to choose from within the 100 mile foodshed. We are so blessed, it almost seems like cheating. I will be particularly interested in reading about braver people who take up the challenge in less bountiful parts of the world. This month check out Jen's blog, Life Begins at Thirty. She will be the blogger coordinator for the challenge and you will be able to check out all the other particpants from all over the world.

Bring Sunshine to Your Table, A Local Breakfast Recipe:
Panir Cheese from the Cow Girl Creamery in Point Reyes.
One green pluot from Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood.
Almonds from Alfieri Farms in Ripon.
Honey from Gloucestershire England, purchased at The Bristol Farmers Market, and from within the Bristol Food shed. (I am not going to buy new, local, versions of items I have in my pantry until I have used up what I have already).

Method: Heat a handful of flaked almonds with 1 tsp honey in a pan or skillet until toasted and golden. Sprinkle over slices of fruit and fresh Panir cheese.

Locavores August Eat Local Challenge 2005

posted in and and and
The August Eat Local Challenge 2005


  • At 1/8/05 09:52, Anonymous Fatemeh said…

    Sam, you and Fred eat out a fair bit.

    Can you talk a little bit about how you're working the Eat Local Challenge into your dining-out experiences?

    Frankly, that's been the biggest challenge for me.

  • At 1/8/05 10:01, Blogger Sam said…

    I plan to cover that as the month goes on
    but really its difficult
    and that will be one of my failure areas
    especially when I am not controlling the dining location choice.
    The good thing for San Franciscans is that more and more restaurants have realised that using local sustainable produce is a bandwagon to be jumped on and they are using it to attract customers.

    Consider this also - if you are supporting local restaurants, you are supporting local business anyway, even if they in turn are not doing the same thing.

    Hence, I would recommend eating in local eateries rather than national chains restaurants, but I am sure we all do that anyway - most of the time.

    My plan is to ask questions about their food sourcing in restuarants to raise awareness of the issues, but in reality I get all shy and find this embarassing to do, so I'll see how I get on...

  • At 1/8/05 11:29, Anonymous Fatemeh said…

    I agree that, particularly in San Francisco, procuring local ingredients is more prevalent than in other parts of the country, and it's a very nice change of pace.

    So I guess the question then becomes, do you order the thing you really WANT to eat, or do you order something that is LESS appealing to you but is marked on the menu as being locally sourced?

    I applaud everyone who's using this month to pay closer attention to what they are putting in their bodies, and what kinds of businesses they support.

    I chose not to participate at this time for a few reasons, one of which is that the challenge is unfortunately not compatible with the fact that I eat 'culturally' quite a bit -- Persian food, that is. I felt awkward 'exempting' all my persian dishes from the challenge.

  • At 1/8/05 11:54, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Fatemeh: For me, the month will be about privation to some extent. For instance, in a restaurant I'd order whatever most adhered to my local quest, not whatever I just felt like eating. Educational (but pleasant, I hope).
    Sam: Wow. What a great picture of a great (and simple) dish! (PS: I get all shy and stuff too, so I drag hubby along to ask the questions. Though I did come out of my shell at the Pt. Reyes Station market the other day -- it was quite enjoyable talking with the farmers!)

  • At 1/8/05 15:24, Blogger Monkey Gland said…

    I reckon you should be allowed one British product! Local's all very well (I keep smirking everytime I read have seen the League of Gentlemen??) but you gotta be true to yer roots ;-)

  • At 1/8/05 15:49, Blogger Jennifer Maiser said…

    I think the restaurant thing is going to kick my butt. Fatemeh, I definitely hear you about the ethnic restaurant issue. I tend to eat some sort of ethnic 4-5 times a week, and I was *just* thinking today about how I have basically excluded myself out of anything ethnic if I stick with what I am trying to do.

    I have a list going (that I need to post) that talks about restaurants that source local ingredients, but as far as I have figured thus far it's the usual suspects (Desiree, A16, Chez Panisse, Incanto, Pizetta 211, etc) and nothing revelatory.

    Personally, I plan on going to restaurant that have some sort of reputation for sourcing local ingredients and then leave it at that -- I am not going to ask them for sourcing on each dish. Too much drama.

    Anyway, I feel like just having this conversation means that the challenge is succeeding (not to be all Pollyanna on you guys ;) )

    Enough usurping Sam's blog for now ...

  • At 1/8/05 20:51, Anonymous Cellounge Admin (Shane) said…

    That picture of that food did not even look good. Sorry

  • At 2/8/05 04:18, Blogger Cape Man said…

    Hi, picked you out totally at randam from Michele's site.
    Now I'm a bit peckish.

  • At 2/8/05 04:29, Blogger farmgirl said…

    Great post. Beautiful photo. Love that you are doing this and can't wait to read more about your experiences.

  • At 2/8/05 06:23, Blogger Rachael said…

    Having local ingredients on menus is one area that England really has down. I would say almost every restaurant I ate in there this summer had a note that they source locally. Even chains. It was inspiring.

  • At 2/8/05 09:01, Blogger Sam said…

    fatemeh - i went out last night and tried to order the things they claimed were local (later dicovered to be not so true) and a local tomato salad that didn't make the mark. I am sure you particpate anyway, albeit unofficially. For me - I just wanted to register the experiences - the failures along withthe successes. I guess day 1 didn't go to well! ANd from a culutal standpoint - no te, no marmite isn't possile for me. How far could you go making persian food from local ingredients?

    cookiecrumb - we must never go shopping together lest both of us are rendered mute !

    Monkey Gland - believe me - I have at least two Brit products on my exemption list. The tea and the marmite. + I iused the Brit honey too. League of Gentleman is very scary.

    Jen - I think I have some other restaurants to add to your list - which i will feature over the course of the month. It's interesting though - they say they use local ingredients, but how do you know if they are telling the truth

    Cellounge Shane - no need to apologize - just don't expect an invitation to breakfast

    Cape Man - nice to meet you - stop by again whenever you are hungry

    Farmgirl - glad you like it - I am going to keep hassling you til we get to see that hunky farmer of yours

    Rachael - thinking about what you say - i did notice a local emphasis on menus on my last visit too. Good for the Brits - eh!

  • At 2/8/05 10:05, Anonymous Fatemeh said…

    Sam & Jen, it's probably possible to make Persian food from primarily locally sourced ingredients, but literally, it's 10x the work.

    I guess maybe I should ask if i'd be allowed to include 100 miles around Tehran as local, too? 'Cos in a way, it's part of my foodshed since I get "special deliveries" several times a year from family members who are here visiting -- basically, they are supporting all the vendors my family has supported for decades.

    That said, you're right, Sam, in that I am most definitely "participating" in some form, if only because my awareness of such matters is hightened!


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