Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Eat Real - Eat Local - in Oakland - Real Fun

To know me is to know about my passion for food--particularly vegan food. Food is everything to any culture. It is imperative that we take a close examination of our lifestyles as humans in the plugged-in 21st century. Thirty percent of American meals are eaten in the car. In the car. This information is not any easier to digest than the hormone-injected all-beef patty on a sesame seed bun. This ritual that is performed daily or with family that is so vital to our health and existence deserves more sacredness. Having delighted in my soap box, I go on to say this: The Eat Real Fest was so much fun.

Real Food is grown, agricultured. Not driven-thru. Last weekend, the Eat Real Festival was held in Oakland California. The Eat Real Movement is indicative of the Slow Food Movement, was successfully designed for "putting the FOOD back in 'Fast Food'." So, if we can't all change our lifestyles in a snap, we will still need some form of instant-grat food. But if instant-grat food is a corporate chain, our communities suffer one small dollar menu item at a time. Enter the "street vendors." All the local street vendors agreed to use local farms for all the ingredients for dishes served at the festival for $6 or less a pop. The result? A flurry of happy community involvement!

I spoke with a volunteer at the beer shack. He told me about a study done in a community of Oakland: Five years ago, it was easier to find drugs downtown than a salad! He went on to say, that he'd grown up there, and now, something is happening. The happening is an energy that could be felt from every person there. Then he told me that all the proceeds from beer sales were distributed to three charities that work towards injecting real food (less processed, more connected food) into lower-income communities. I bought the $25 beer-tasting. Then I met the farmers in the indoor Farmers Market.

Another favorite of mine with the TCHO Chocolate. It's locally manufactured chocolate - in San Francisco - and the name stands for "T"echnology CHOcolate. I love the way the owner is designer virtual tour so he can monitor the chocolate as it's being manufactured. They have a cool flavor wheel which helps you pick out thhe perfect chocolate.

The promotion of food from local counties in Northern California to locals and foodies was entertaining and fun. This is going to be an annual event, with more artists, more "street food" and more exposure for the great cause. Get there! Where else are you gonna find a living salad bowl?

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