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A Local Los Angeles Foods Cookbook - Call for Recipes

Los Angeles area Local Foods Cookbook provides a way to participate and learn about Southern California agriculture and food sources

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California power plants and CO2 emissions Local foods are important for too many reasons to think of...but they save on transportaion that relies on oil, they can be fresher because they travel less, they can support local agriculture and organic production...and they can be part of your participation in your local habitat. Here's a fun and very educational project that will let your taste buds teach you a new form of gourmet enjoyment.

Would you like to contribute to a fun cornucopia of local foods resources? Do you wish you could include more local foods in your diet, but your usual recipes just don't fit? Maybe you find you can create one dish with local foods, but inventing several sounds way too daunting. If we pool our knowledge, we can all benefit from the wealth of our collective experience.

Here's how you can participate in the Local Los Angeles Cookbook

  1. CREATE one yummy dish from local foods. Perhaps alter an existing recipe, substituting local ingredients for non-local ones. The goal is to have virtually all ingredients be grown or produced within approximately 100 miles of the Los Angeles basin (more info below). Feel free to circulate this email request to other local cooks who might like to participate. And yes, you're certainly welcome to contribute more than one recipe!
  2. TASTE TEST your dish with friends and family. You're welcome to bring it to an Environmental Change-Makers meeting for tasters to try.
  3. WRITE it up. Tell us about it.
    • Tell us where you found some of the more unusual ingredients (example: locally-sourced apple cider vinegar from Ha's apple farm via the Westchester farmer's market).
    • Explain those departures from "local" that you did have to make (example: olive oil from Trader Joe's reads "California grown" so it's probably outside our 100 miles. example: cinnamon is imported, but it's relatively small and light.)
    • Most likely your recipe will work best in a specific Southern California season. Mark it with the applicable season: "peach season," or "pomegranate season," or spring/summer/fall/winter.
    • If your recipe can be prepared using environmentally progressive cooking methods (solar cooking, solar dehydration, root cellaring, etc.), please give us details.
    • Include your name, and perhaps your neighborhood or area of the city, so that we can give you credit.
  4. SEND it in to Environmental Change-Makers. Electronic format makes things easiest for us, but we'll take it in any form.
  5. We'll publish the best ones in a cookbook document available in hardcopy at our Environmental Change-Makers meetings, and online in pdf form. We will use the Creative Commons license "Attribution Share Alike" We'll circulate this home-grown cookbook to get people thinking about possibilities, to make environmental solutions more readily available, and to help publicize the work of the Environmental Change-Makers.

Why local foods?

Life Begins At 30

Find your local farmer's market

California Farmers Markets Directory

Find your 100-mile radius

"A gastronome who does not have an environmental conscience is a fool, because without it he will be deceived in every way possible and will allow the earth, from which he draws the essence of his work, to die. In the same way, it may be said that an ecologist who is not also something of a gastronome is a sad character, who besides not being able to enjoy nature and missing out on the pleasure of eating, is indirectly prepared to do serious damage to the ecosystem by the simple act of eating incorrectly." -- Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, in "Slow Food Nation"
  • What is "Local" for this cookbook? ... We're not going to impose a strict definition of "virtually all ingredients" because we acknowledge that in this Transition era the definition of "local," plus the availability of Los Angeles area resources, is still evolving.

    For general guidelines

  • The bulk of the main ingredients should be locally-sourced. (For example: the tomatoes and onion in a tomato salad; perhaps the vinegar too. By contrast, peach jam with loads of non-local sugar won't really qualify.) The ingredients should come from approximately 100 miles of the Los Angeles area. That territory extends from just north of Santa Barbara, nearly to the Mexican border, and includes vast inland agricultural areas.
  • You'll probably find that few processed foods qualify. Even locally- baked bread requires grains transported long distances.

    Keep in mind the Pledge of the Locavore

    If not FROM BACKYARD then locally produced.
    If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
    If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
    If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
    If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade. NOTE: This is a Los Angeles area project. We realize that this email request may travel far and wide. Rather than sending us recipes which are only "local" to other areas, we encourage you to replicate this project in your own local neighborhood.

    The Environmental Change-Makers are a group of community members based in the Westchester area of Los Angeles. We focus on the many positive solutions available for our environmental problems. Our monthly meetings draw environmentally-minded citizens from the greater Los Angeles area.


    Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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