Foodshed for Thought
Celebrate Your Foodshed
Welcome to Locavores:
We are a group of concerned culinary adventurers who are making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco for an entire month. We recognize that the choices we make about what foods we choose to eat are important politically, environmentally, economically, and healthfully. In 2005, we challenged people from the bay area (and all over the world) to eat within a 100 mile radius of their home for the month of August.....
In 2007 we extended that challenge to the month of September . We encouraged folks to try canning and preserving food for the wintertime. We hope you're enjoying your homemade creations.
LOCAVORE is the 2007 Word of the Year for the Oxford American Dictionary!
Only 3 years old and already we're in a dictionary.
We would like to urge people to use this website as a resource to continue paying attention to their food sources throughout the year.
the Locavore founders: Jen Maiser, Jessica Prentice, Sage Van Wing, and DeDe Sampson at the Berkeley Farmer's Market.
To listen to listen to Alice Waters, Gary Paul Nabhan, Sage Van Wing and others discussing the Locavores, click here.
Why Eat Locally?
Our food now travels an average of 1,500 miles before ending up on our plates. This globalization of the food supply has serious consequences for the environment, our health, our communities and our tastebuds. Much of the food grown in the breadbasket surrounding us must be shipped across the country to distribution centers before it makes its way back to our supermarket shelves. Because uncounted costs of this long distance journey (air pollution and global warming, the ecological costs of large scale monoculture, the loss of family farms and local community dollars) are not paid for at the checkout counter, many of us do not think about them at all.
What is eaten by the great majority of North Americans comes from a global everywhere, yet from nowhere that we know in particular. How many of our children even know what a chicken eats or how an onion grows? The distance from which our food comes represents our separation from the knowledge of how and by whom what we consume is produced, processed, and transported. And yet, the quality of a food is derived not merely from its genes and the greens that fed it, but from how it is prepared and cared for all the way until it reaches our mouths. If the production, processing, and transport of what we eat is destructive of the land and of human community -- as it very often is -- how can we understand the implications of our own participation in the global food system when those processes are located elsewhere and so are obscured from us? How can we act responsibly and effectively for change if we do not understand how the food system works and our own role within it?
Can we stay within a 100 mile radius? While corporations, which are the principal beneficiaries of a global food system now dominate the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food, alternatives are emerging which together could form the basis for foodshed development. Just as many farmers are recognizing the social and environmental advantages to sustainable agriculture, so are many consumers coming to appreciate the benefits of fresh and sustainably produced food. Such producers and consumers are being linked through such innovative arrangements as community supported agriculture and farmers' markets. Alternative producers, alternative consumers, and alternative small entrepreneurs are rediscovering community and finding common ground.
In the greater bioregion of the Bay Area, one can eat like royalty, every day of the year, on locally grown and produced food. From West Marin come oysters, mussels, grass-fed beef, cheese, and milk. From the waters of the Pacific come seasonal fish like salmon, ling cod, and crab, while the estuaries give us halibut, sturgeon, and bass. Sonoma County is the home of sustainable chickens, spring lamb, of dozens of small farms producing fruits, vegetables, wild mushrooms and wines. Napa also gives us wines, as well as many fruits and vegetables. Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano, San Mateo, all of these Bay Area counties are home to some of the finest food grown or produced anywhere in the world.
Recognition of one's residence within a foodshed can confer a sense of connection and responsibility to a particular locality. The foodshed can provide a place for us to ground ourselves in the biological and social realities of living on the land and from the land in a place that we can call home, a place to which we are or can become native.
We invite all local eaters (this means you) to join us in a celebration of our local food cornucopia and in an effort to raise our own awareness of our place within the foodshed. Our goal is to eat from within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco of our homes. Failing that, we will attempt to eat foods that come from within our State, or are purchased directly from small scale farmers elsewhere in the world. Some of us will interpret these guidelines more strictly than others, but the main goal is to pay attention to where the food that we eat comes from.
Plant your gardens now. Get to know your local farmers' markets. Cozy up to your neighbors who have chickens and fruit trees. Share the food sources that you find with others.
|Sage Van Wing
Mary Ann Gee
Bay Area Resources
To find local sources for grass-fed beef, raw milk, free-range meats, organic vegetables & more, check out Jessica Prentice's Bay Area Sources for Wise & Nourishing Traditional Foods (just follow the links at left).
For food & cooking resources on the web, see: Weaving the Wise Food Web.
100 mile radius around San Francisco
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last updated 2 December 2010 :: 2 pm San Francisco (Pacific) time
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website content copyright © 2005-2014 the Locavores: Jessica Prentice, Sage Van Wing, Dede Sampson & Jennifer Maiser
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