October is Eat Local Challenge month around the nation. Over at the Eat Local Challenge blog, we are excited to have over two hundred people who have committed to eating locally in their area for the entire month. We choose to eat locally because it supports the local economy, because it supports local farms and farmers, because it's lighter on the earth, and because it supports responsible development.
Since its meager beginnings in 2005, the Eat Local Challenge has grown to a movement that is beyond any of our dreams. This is evidenced by the cooperation of many organizations in San Francisco that are bringing you a myriad of eat local events throughout the month of October.
Even if you don't commit to eating locally for the entire month (though we'd love if you sign up and participate!), there are lots of ways that you can support eating locally in October in the Bay Area. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Support restaurants in the Bay Area that make a habit of buying from local farms. Just a few ideas include Delfina, A16, SPQR, Flea Street Cafe, Coi, Piccino, Pizzetta 211, Serpentine, Hog Island Oyster Company, Pauline's Pizza, NOPA, and so many others.
2. Support restaurants in San Francisco that are committing to buying locally in October. Eat Local SF is a local organization that has worked with restaurants to provide special Eat Local menus during October. Those restaurants can be found via Open Table.
3. Learn more about eating locally by attending a lecture. The Commonwealth Club is hosting a four week series about eating locally. I will be attending several of the events. I sat in on some of the planning sessions for these events, and am excited about the panelists at each. Events include:
October 1. Local Food, Local Pride: Policies for Sustainable Economies
October 8. The Water Connection: State Policies and the Impact on Local Food Systems
October 15. From Farm to Feast: How chefs, farmers and artisans strenghten our community
October 22. Food as Medicine: Health and Food Safety
4. Attend tastings of local wines and food at 18 Reasons each Thursday night in October. 18 Reasons is a great art + food gallery in the Mission, and I am excited to check out these celebrations of local wine.
5. Use the Buy Fresh Buy Local database to find local food in your area, and support those purveyors in October.
6. Attend a farmers market each week in October. Use the Chronicle website to find your local market.
7. Ask your supermarket manager where your meat, produce and dairy is coming from. Remember that market managers are trained to realize that for each person actually asking the question, at least 7 people want to know the same answer. Make a difference!
However you decide to support local eating in October, be sure to let us know what you're doing and how it goes.