Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Eat Local Challenge October 2008

And Why I've Signed Up This Time...picture photograph image ALT 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Yesterday's local lunch was so utterly delicious it will probably be on the menu for the rest of the week (except Friday). Picture taken on my iphone.

It's been over three years since the I properly took part in the very first Local Challenge. When I've mentioned to a few people that I signed up for the latest Eat Local Challenge taking place this month, I've sometimes gotten a bemused response since it's something I partake of anyway, on a regular basis. So why challenge myself this time around? The truth is, I want to take a stock check and see how I really am doing. There are areas where I could probably make better or different choices and I want to reveal them to myself by exploring my eating patterns more closely. Those who are taking part this October have been asked to answer the following three questions to begin the challenge:

1. What is your definition of local?

I mainly buy my produce from the San Francisco Farmers Market, so for the most part, my definition of local is largely covered by this map.

2. What exemptions will you claim?
My first thought, was to decline myself some of my everyday favourite things for the sake of trying to be totally locavore. But this would not have been realistic or even pleasurable. I want to keep things in perspective. Here are some items I will definitely be making use of despite them not being local:
Sugar (at the very least in order to bake the cookies I have promised to send some of the kind readers who supported me with the donations for The Race for The Cure).
Spices that are already in my pantry.
Non-local items already in the house.
Dining Out when the choice of venue is not mine.
Work Meetings.
Pot lucks (I am attending two in October, but they will both be rife with local Food Bloggers so I hold high hopes they'll be at least par-locavore)

Chocolate (local companies only, I hope.)

3. What is your goal for the month?
To reassess my Local Eating patterns by keeping a record of what I am consuming on a day to day basis.

So - what does this all my mean for my blog? Well, if I can keep it up for the month - I hope to keep a diary here, outlining what I am eating on a day to day basis. A heavy work schedule this month and other commitments will mean my diary probably won't be too wordy, and neither will it necessarily be displaying beautiful pictures. The occasional snap on my iphone might be as good as it gets. I'll see what I have time to do. Any encouragement, ideas or input from readers, will of course, be gratefully accepted. Although I can't really expect you to be too overjoyed at the prospect of joining me on this journey, it's somewhere I want to explore right now, so I thank you in advance for you for your patience as my month of eating locally takes shape.

QUESTION OF THE DAY graphic copyright sam breach
?Are you taking part in the October 2008 Eat Local Challenge too?

2007 | Attempting to Cook a Locally Sourced Lunch in Bristol, England
2006 | Restaurant Girl Speaks
2005 | A Vegan Downfall
2004 | Olive, San Francisco

© 2008 Sam Breach
The Eat Local Challenge October 2008


  • At 30/9/08 01:30, Blogger Anna Haight said…

    Don't think I can do the complete challenge, but I'll add some local flavor to my blog in October as I can.

  • At 30/9/08 07:15, Blogger meg said…

    I eat local as much as possible, buying local produce, cheese, eggs, and even confections when I can. I do have some exemptions as well (coffee--fair trade, organic, shade-grown, chocolate, tea, olive oil, spices). I think the real reason for doing this sort of thing is not for (as some people I know would put it) "street cred" but to bring about a food revolution focusing on local, fresh food that supports local farmers and artisans.

  • At 30/9/08 09:20, Blogger kudzu said…

    Perhaps it would be instructive to keep a running tally of your costs to see how your pursuit compares with The Hunger Challenge.

  • At 30/9/08 09:40, Anonymous Genie said…

    I'm definitely doing it, although I'm going to give myself a fair number of exemptions -- having recently come off the Hunger Challenge, I'm a little weary of proscribed eating! Still...this is a much pleasurable challenge to take on, and already, as I've been doing shopping early this week, I've learned a lot.

  • At 30/9/08 09:40, Blogger Sam said…

    Kudzu - I had already planned to touch on this, especially as I didn't have time to take part in the hunger challenge. However it is a ton more work (I've tried it before) and I don't have a ton more time. But yes - it will get a mention along the way when I can

  • At 30/9/08 11:15, Blogger Owen said…

    Sam - you could probably (possibly) drop yeast off your non-local list by making yourself a sourdough starter. It will lengthen your baking times because the activation and rising is a bit longer but it is hard to be more local than your house!

  • At 30/9/08 12:09, Blogger Sam said…

    That is true, Owen - but I love yeast bread and I don't love sourdough bread, so it won't be happening chez moi anytime soon. That's precisely why yeast made it to my list of singled-out exceptions.

  • At 30/9/08 12:42, Anonymous Jane said…

    Golly, Sam, you have such high standards! I shall continue just to drink local wine and eat local cheese and think I'm doing better than I could be.

  • At 30/9/08 14:57, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    You think you might need any local vinegar? I have extra. Pear-based. Homemade. Pretty mild.
    (I'm not offering any salt. Don't want to murder you.)

  • At 30/9/08 15:59, Anonymous EB said…

    Nope I'm not taking the challenge this month, I simply have too many functions coming up, but I am in the process of cleaning out and restocking the pantry. I can commit to at least filling that with local only ingredients... including chocolate :)

  • At 1/10/08 09:38, Blogger Hit Pay Dirt said…

    I did it. I jumped off the ledge and signed up for the challenge. I don't know why it feels like such a massive undertaking but it does!


  • At 1/10/08 17:24, Blogger Manger La Ville said…

    I have never signed up officially. But I make it my goal to think (critically) about my food decisions and their impact. I try to eat as Local as possible in NYC. It is much tougher than in SF (at least for me) But if there are any NYC ( or actually Brooklynites) who would like to share a CSA basket (it is just too much food for one person) please email me at mangerlaville@gmail.com

  • At 2/10/08 08:17, Anonymous Erin said…

    I have not signed on to anything, but for months now I've made a huge effort to buy local. It is such a fun discovery, I had never imagined there was such a great variety of local goods produced. I almost danced a little jig when I found a container of Washington state lentils.

  • At 2/10/08 10:14, Blogger Sam said…

    Bravo to all the people who are making these commitments - even without the official sign up.

    Cookie - I do have local vinegars, but one can always have MORE local vinegars, non?

  • At 2/10/08 12:13, Anonymous Mrs. L said…

    My eat local challenge is still just trying to make it to the local farmers market through the winter (something I've never done). It will be interesting to read what you are eating local to see if there are things I might be able to purchase somewhere.

  • At 5/12/08 04:33, Blogger Parker said…

    I have tried to eat more locally over the past few years, but not nearly enough as I would like. But I am trying to make it more and more my lifestyle.


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