Okay, let’s be honest here, a Locavore Challenge is a great idea, but much easier said than done. I cheated on day one and have continued to do so every day thereafter. I blame this on a characteristic that has been rooted in me since birth. I am what you call a “social-eater”, in other words, I don’t just eat for the purpose of feeding a hunger; I eat more for the experience and company. I thank my family for this wonderful trait, always planning the next meal (and the meal after that) while sitting feasting at a favorite restaurant chowing down. Every event, happening, or celebration growing up, and still to this day, has been accompanied by a meal. A friend is coming into town? Let’s pick her up from the airport and get lunch. You want to go on a date with me? How about dinner and a movie, sans movie?
That being said, the Locavore Challenge was more than just a challenge to seek out local food and drink, but a challenge to my social life. While it is not impossible to find restaurants that use all local ingredients, the number of these establishments is rather low. I have had no trouble at all heading to the grocery store and buying food grown in San Diego County. In that respect, I have learned a lot about in-season produce as well as local farms and what they have to offer. Southern California is bursting with wonderful farms and growers, which eclipse everything you can find in Arizona, where I am from. It is amazing how much you can discover at farmer’s markets around here. I have certainly gained an appreciation for local organizations and how much truly is at our fingertips here, in San Diego.
Additionally, I am grateful because this challenge has shed light on my nutrition. I have certainly taken a more conscientious approach in choosing what groceries I need and what groceries I want. I look back on the past couple of weeks and am thankful that the pints of ice cream and bags of chips that I had lustfully stared at in the grocery aisles were not local. It feels good to eat well!
So, as it is plain to see, I have not had an easy go with this challenge. I enjoy my food in the company of friends and do not see that changing any time in the future. As unfortunate as that may be, I am so happy that I made an attempt at becoming a Locavore. I have been so enlightened and introduced to a realm of eating that had been almost entirely foreign to me sixteen days ago. I strongly encourage anyone even the least bit interested in taking this challenge. You will be amazed at how much you learn!