One of the most exciting pieces of food news this year is that "locavore" has been knighted "word of the year" by the Oxford University Press. However, I absorbed the concept of the Eat Local Challenge before I did "locavore," which, in all honesty, I thought had something to do with the phases of the moon and the lycanthrope society. (It's possible I've watched one too many Frasiers.)
The first time I heard about the Eat Local movement, it was over two years ago, and since I was still trying to ferret out where to buy my favorite French nut oil, Mexican ginger beer, and New England pumpkin ale, I felt totally overwhelmed.
Did I really need to think about each and every food product that came into my kitchen when I was just starting to find my cooking legs in San Francisco? Of course not. If you give the smallest crap about eating local, it's not necessary to ensure that every food product -- salt, coffee, flour, sugar, produce, meat, Diet Coke -- in your kitchen is from local purveyors. If you give the smallest crap about eating local, you just think about what you're buying and wonder if it's local. Because you care.
That's all you need to do to effect change: start thinking about it. Start caring about it. Then maybe, you'll start acting on it. Frankly, if it hadn't been for Jen Maiser, I'd still be just thinking about eating local and not actually doing anything about it. Not only does Jen blog about eating local at her own site, Life Begins at 30, she's also the editor of the Eat Local Challenge blog and has worked at various farmers' stands at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market.