On the one hand, since moving to San Francisco, I’ve found that the majority of my grocery shopping is done via walking or using public transit. This is because a) it’s more convenient to stop somewhere off of BART on my way home from work in Berkeley (say, to the Trader Joe’s in Rockridge or the Whole Foods in SOMA, although that place kinda sucks), and b) it’s a pain in the butt to get my car in and out of my apartment garage and to drive anywhere in the City.
However, my purchasing habits are not necessarily influenced by locality, particularly for produce (I tend to go for what’s cheap and convenient). So while I’m offsetting my carbon output by not driving, I may be reversing the effects by not keeping a closer eye on where my food is coming from.
It was almost the opposite from when I lived in Oakland. I got a lot of produce and other miscellaneous items at local farmer’s markets, but otherwise, I almost always drove to various grocery stores. Then again, I’ve been cooking much more since moving to SF, making the most from the food I buy and stretching out leftovers for as long as they’ll last; when I lived alone while in the East Bay, I definitely let a lot more food go to waste.
So what’s to be done? I may go back to a project I started last year, when I created a Google Map of Bay Area farmer’s markets in hopes of checking more out when possible:
[View Bay Area Farmer’s Markets in a larger map]
I’ll likely revise it to cater it more towards my new City dwellings, and to remove any markets that are just too far from work or home to justify the cost/distance. Also, this article on Cooking Light spotlights in-season produce and provides recipes, which is quite helpful.