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Eating locally in November and beyond

The Eat Local Challenge has come to an end, but I don’t expect my eating habits to change much in the wake of it.

I will return to a few things I missed over the course of the month. Parmaggiano Reggiano cheese, for one thing. Wine from other regions of the world. The myriad Asian food products in the markets that dot my neighborhood.

But as I told a friend last night, I’ll probably continue eating as I have in the past two weeks, which is when I let the challenge slip a little and started (not at home, but out on the town) giving in to cravings and urges and more invitations from friends. I’ll probably spend less time mapping California locations on my iPhone at the farmer’s market, which will mean faster shopping trips but, probably, a few more food-miles on my plate.

Next year, I hope to hold myself to a bit of a higher standard – maybe last three weeks of on-target behavior rather than two. But I’ve reaped so much from this challenge, not the least of which is a list of all the things (Boccalone’s pork ragu, Cowgirl Creamery crème fraiche, Rancho Gordo beans) I’ve yet to try but can’t wait to acquire and eat.

As a result of this challenge, I’ve made grits from scratch (no more instant envelopes for me…), chatted with a coffee roaster about the difference between his blends, baked delicious bread, made crepes for the first time, whipped up some gnocchi, and mixed my cocktails with local liquor. I discovered a butcher, a natural foods grocery and a primo wine and cheese shop in Alameda (and now that I’m no longer on the challenge, I will be able to plum the depths of that cheese stock…). I’ve learned a lot about the close-in geography of my new home.

I’m so glad I took part, even if I didn’t hit the Eat Local perfection mark. I’m excited to expand the list of discoveries I started in October – this is, without question, the best food environment I’ve ever, ever lived in.

4 Comments on “Eating locally in November and beyond”

  1. #1
    on Nov 2nd, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I sent this post to a couple of friends of ours who just moved back to the Bay Area after living in Hawaii for about 10 years. You’ve done such a great job tracking resources in Oakland. I’m sure they’ll find your efforts very helpful.

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 2nd, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Sean, I’m happy to pass along whatever I’ve learned — this has been so much fun! And the adventure continues…

  3. #3 chigiy
    on Nov 4th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Goodness Girlfriend,

    You have been busy and you have been doing such a good job.
    Exciting stuff, interesting posts, great research.
    I have been researching urban farming and neighborhood communal gardening and turning fifty–ICK.

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 5th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Chigiy, isn’t 50 the new 32? I would love to hear more about what you’re learning in your research!

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