Tag Archives: food miles

A Cheat Sheet for Eating Locally

4 Aug

When I moved to the Bay Area from LA 7 years ago, I had never knowingly eaten something organic. And the concept of food miles didn’t even exist.

Things have changed a bit since then. Maybe it was watching An Inconvenient Truth, or maybe it’s all the food blogs I read, but lately, I can’t purchase food without thinking about where it came from. Is it organic? How many miles did it travel to reach me? Is it made by a huge corporation or a small business?

It can get kind of exhausting so I thought I’d make it easier for those of us in the Bay Area. I know I’m tired of making my head hurt in the bread aisle, trying to figure out what’s local and what’s organic.

So here’s a hopelessly incomplete list of local farms and companies in the extended Bay Area that make delicious food. I’ve left off the obvious – produce, beer, and wine – because there are dozens of local options to choose from (and I just wouldn’t know where to start). Enjoy:

Name

Location

Organic?

Products

Notes

Acme Bread Company

Berkeley

Yes

Bread

You can find this bread just about anywhere in the East Bay.

Clover Stornetta Farms

Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino

Many Products Are

Milk, Cheese, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt

They win the prize for cutest mascot. You can find their products in most stores that carry natural foods.

Cowgirl Creamery

Point Reyes

Yes

Cheese!

Visit them at the SF Ferry Building and sample away.

Galaxy Granola

Marin

Yes

Take a wild guess…

Just discovered them – try the cranberry orange granola. I’ve only seen this at Whole Foods.

Ginger People

Monterey

No

Ginger candy, ginger cooking sauces, ginger juice, ginger beer

Their Sweet Ginger Chili sauce with Hodo Soy’s tofu jerky is a great combination.

Hodo Soy Beanery

Somewhere in the 415

Yes

Yummy flavored tofu, plain tofu, soy milk, soy custard, soy noodles, soy chocolate mousse

I can’t live without their tofu jerky and sesame tofu strips. They’re at all of the major Bay Area farmer’s markets.

Ici Ice Cream

Berkeley

Yes

Ice cream, sometimes of the wildest flavors, including earl grey, stout, peaches and cream, rhubarb, rose petal, lavender….

Only available at their store on College. You might have to wait in line for a half hour, but trust me, it’s worth it! The person who started it was the pastry chef for Chez Panisse so you know it’s got to be yummy, local, and organic.

Numi Tea

Oakland!

Yes

Tea, tea, and more tea. I recommend trying one of their variety packs.

I live by tea, and Numi’s one of my favorite. Many stores and cafes carry their teas.

Phoenix Pastifico

Berkeley

?

Pasta, ravioli, pasta sauces

Pricey, but worth the treat once in a while. You can find their pasta at many farmer’s markets, and at their small store in Berkeley.

Redwood Hill Farm

Sebastopol

No

Goat cheese and yogurt

Not certified organic yet due to lack of availability of organic feed. Still, no GMO or pesticides used.

Santa Cruz Organic

Santa Cruz

Yes

Juice, Soda, Apple Sauce, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Sauce

I can’t get enough of their lemonade during the summer. Most stores carry their products.

Strauss Family Creamery

Point Reyes

Yes

Milk, Yogurt, Butter

Their butter is heavenly. I’ve mostly seen their products at Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl.

Three Twins Ice Cream

San Rafael

Yes

Ice cream

Way too tasty. I’ve only seen this at the Berkeley farmer’s market, but I know some stores carry their ice cream.

Not convinced about eating local? Check out this this great YouTube video I found on the Eat Local Challenge blog, and learn to watch your (fo)odometer: