Hi, my name is Erin Littlestar… thanks for visiting Sustainable in the City! I’m a 25 26 year old woman living in the Adams Morgan/Dupont area of Washington, DC with a roommate and my rather unkempt miniature poodle, Oliver. I started my work in local foods at a nonprofit, DC Central Kitchen, that made the bold decision to buy as much of their food as possible direct from local farmers. I worked with the farmers and our transportation staff to bring all that glorious food in so it could be made into 4000 meals everyday for the area homeless shelters and social service agencies.
Now, I work for a fast-casual restaurant company in DC called Sweetgreen that serves fresh, made-to-order salads and frozen yogurt. For a high-volume restaurant with multiple locations to serve local and sustainable food is pretty unique, so they hired me to come on and figure out how to make it scalable for 5, 10, 20 restaurants in this area, and then new markets across America.
I’ve always loved fresh, local food, but working with these farmers made me realize the impact that our spending has on their livelihoods. So I started buying even more of my food locally. Then I was asked to teach a 3 session class called “Food and Politics: Conscious Eating, Conscious Living” at Church of the Pilgrims (my seriously badass, socially conscious, More Light Presbyterian Church in Dupont Circle). I realized there how much I loved talking about and teaching others about the importance of eating local, sustainable food. It also made me realize how much I was not following everything I was teaching. I still ate at restaurants that didn’t buy locally, I still occasionally bought unsustainable meats and seafood from the grocery store. Suddenly, everything I ate came into sharp focus for me, and it became clear that if I was going to set an example for others, I had better make sure I was walking the talk. This experiment and blog was born of that challenge.
The objective here is not to get all holier-than-thou on my soapbox and lecture everyone about what they are eating (though I make no promises about always staying off the soapbox about certain issues. sometimes a woman just has to stand up and say her piece).
The real point of all of this is:
1. To promote farmers who grow exceptional food and who support the land and our animals. And to promote chefs, restaurants, and organizations who support those farmers.
2. To help others who want to eat and live this way, and provide resources and guides to help them make simple changes that have a huge impact on their community and their health.
3. To prove to myself that I can stick with this and eat totally locally and sustainably for one full year (at least!), and to become a more conscious person, about everything. Starting with my food.
My official start and end dates are January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. I intend on having this be a lifestyle change forever, but I at least needed a strict time frame to work with. Guidelines are key for this to work (me = not great at sticking to plans. rather a wanderer to tell the truth.)
My list of resources is growing everyday, so if you know a farmer or chef/restaurant/organization in the Chesapeake Bay foodshed (or beyond!) who is doing amazing things with local food, please leave me a comment and let me know!
Thanks again for visiting… Please leave me some love and feedback!