Best new cause

Eat Local

Yesterday there was free speech and Vietnam. Today there are fee hikes and oak groves. Much has changed in Berkeley over the decades, but not all: Campus and community members remain dedicated to exposing injustices and championing causes. By and large, they also remain dedicated to eating well, making Berkeley the natural home of the East Bay’s newest cause célèbre: “Eat local.” Building its case upon environmentalism, politics, economics, and public health, the eat-local movement has become one of the quintessential causes of the East Bay. It has found supporters in everyone from local restaurateurs to area farmers and restaurant chains. Farmers’ markets have spiked in popularity, local produce has begun to appear in major supermarket chains, and urban gardening has grown into a veritable craze. Not since the Victory Gardens of the first half of the last century has locally oriented food production and consumption been such a hot topic. From the looks of it, this time it’s going to stick.

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