Today marks the end of Eat Local month and I thought I would share with you what I've learned.
I've learned that...
~ eating locally is awfully easy in San Francisco, as long as you make a few key exceptions (coffee, tea, pasta, spices).
~ eating locally costs a lot -- I think my toll is near $400 for groceries for 2 for the month -- but maybe that's just because I suck at budgeting.
~ it is impossible to keep the exciting posts coming about fresh, local ingredients, even if you are eating them every day.
~ cooking seasonally requires flexibility, spontaneity and constant adaptations. That can be fun if you're feeling crazy, and not so fun if you have a dinner party to plan or a busy job and kiddies to cook for.
~ farmers are generally very nice, friendly and happy to talk about their stuff and how to prepare it.
~ chicken feet are the most disgusting thing on the planet.
~ there are two sides to the eating local issue, with rational arguments both for and against. This shouldn't be a knee jerk reaction.
I failed at some of my aspirations -- to get out of my comfort zone by shopping at Rainbow Grocery or Bi-Rite, to finish the Omnivore's Dilemma, to eat 100% locally every day -- but succeeded at changing the way I shop, cook and eat overall. I'm back on the CSA wagon for good (I share its weekly cornucopia with friends to keep from wasting produce), I am a regular at the farmer's market, I intend to explore other farmer's markets, namely on Fillmore and Alemany, over the next few months, and I learned that Elston Family Farms at the Ferry Plaza grow the best damn tomatoes (and they'll only be there another month!).
Now for the announcement: As of the June issue of Northside San Francisco, I'll be writing a monthly column called Fresh from the Farm. Its focus is on farmers and food producers practicing sustainable agriculture, humane husbandry and/or artisanal food production. Upcoming columns will focus on the Elston's tomatoes and the grass-fed beef from Marin Sun Farms. If you don't live in the Northside, I'll be publishing the columns in full on my blog, too. Suggestions of worthy farming operations are always welcome, just email me or post a comment.