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The Arctic vs. The Bay: The 2009 Eat Real Festival

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I just got back from Alaska, which to me, a liberal, vegan, and judgmental Californian, appeared to be a backwards, behind-the-times, redneck state with stunningly gorgeous views and impressive wilderness.

Against this lush, green backdrop, the food situation was unforgivable.  Health food stores were few and far-between and restaurants were impossible.  I felt like a total asshole making inquiries about each entrée’s ingredients and I almost lost my shit/vomited when a waitress informed me that the complimentary chips I’d been eating were cooked in lard.  I started to feel like a tree-hugging alien, lost in a land of Wonder Bread, staunch Republicans, avid hunters, and a disturbing dearth of fresh, organic produce.

Reindeer for lunch? I think not.

I thought things would get better when I visited a wildlife reserve.  Its large expanse was home to endangered elk, bison, caribou, bears, injured eagles, and orphaned moose.  The informational panels at each station bragged about their success in bringing back depleted populations.

Adorable orphaned moose! NOT target practice.

But alas, when you got to the café, they offered 'œReindeer Sausage.'  We may have increased the dwindling population of native caribou from 300 to 1,500'”but if you’re hungry, we can bring that number down to 1,499. WTF.

Though it was a fun and interesting trip, I felt thankful (and spoiled) to return to the Bay Area, where eating healthy isn’t just a readily available lifestyle, it’s a party!  From August 28th – 30th, Oakland’s Jack London Square will be host to the 2009 Eat Real Festival, a 'œsocial venture created to inspire eaters to choose tasty, healthy, good food' through a vibrant, local festival'and a focus on delicious and sustainable 'œstreet food.'  A FREE festival with vendors, cooking demonstrations, foraging and canning exchange, curbside cinema (movies and popcorn on the lawn), live music, curbside dining (local and sustainable food trucks and carts'” all 'œstreet eats' under $1-$5), the Beer Shed, farmer’s market, and more!

Eat Real Festival 2009
Oakland’s Jack London Square (click for driving/bus/bart/ferry/train/bike directions)
Friday, August 28th 4pm-9pm
Saturday, August 29th 10am-9pm
Sunday, August 30th 10am-5pm

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.