At the end of June, a few food bloggers came up with a challenge: to eat locally for the entire month of August. By July 31, nearly 50 bloggers had signed up, and dozens more Bay Area folks without blogs had signed up to participate at Locavores. Jen at Life begins @ 30 has a list of how she defines her challenge (it's meant to be defined personally). Her local radius is 100 miles, and her commitment is this: "Anything that I buy or cook for the household will be locally grown." She makes a few exceptions, like sugar (she'll try to find a local alternative like honey, but will use sugar if she must), spices (she'll use limited amounts and source locally when possible), and rice (she extends her radius to 115 for this grain).
The challenge has really lit a fire under the blogging community. One blogger tried to boil down ocean water for the salt so she could eat that locally. Another is challenging the restaurants she visits to meet the challenge. Another, a knit blogger, learned that knitters love a challenge like nobody else.
The challenge is top-of-mind because it's similar to a Portland-based challenge that lasts the whole summer. And after reading dozens of posts about eating locally, I've decided: even though I'm late to the party, I'm going to try and take part. I'm not going to try to make my entire diet local - my fridge is already too packed to make that work. But I am going to commit to using at least two local ingredients in each meal for the next 10 days, and to limit new purchases to foods grown or produced within 100 miles. To start, I bought a gorgeous bottle of organic cream from a local farmer at the market yesterday, and I'm having that with my locally-roasted coffee (I'm lucky, there are three terrific roasters within three miles of my home - now that's local). I'll let you know how it goes!