I spent this summer eating my way through the Bay Area, should you ever have the chance to visit this lovely place, try my Top 10 favorite food-related things to do:
1. Eat a salad with garden-fresh vegetables 吃田园新鲜蔬菜做的沙拉
2. Go to Whole Foods and be blown away by the number of food choices you have. Peruse thousands of specialty foods, items for people with dietary restrictions (dairy-free, gluten-free, kosher, low-fat, ect) and environmentally conscious products (grass-fed, free-range, organic), I have never seen anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. My favorite is the gluten-free aisle, who new you could have so many different types of rice crackers?
3. Try strange and healthy beverages like kombucha. It has a history in China (红茶菇) but has become especially trendy in the U.S. About the same cost as a latte but much better for your digestion.
4. Visit the farmer’s market and chat with the people that make your food. It really does taste better when it’s fresh and in-season.
5. While at the Farmer’s Market, eat free samples! 在市场免费试吃！
6. Try a raw food restaurant and be surprised by how good it can be! This is a “pizza” from Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco.
7. Eat lots and lots of salad. Salad bars abound in the Bay Area, my all-time favorite is a chain called Pluto’s, you can get a huge salad with multiple toppings for $6. Who said healthy food is only for the rich?
8. Buy food from good farms. The transparency system in the US is not perfect, but there are ways to get information about your food and the quality of the farms before you make purchasing decisions. After much deliberation and research on rating sites like Cornucopia.org, I bought these eggs for their high scores in chicken welfare and sustainability.
9. Let entrepreneurs help you find good food. Silicon Valley is a mecca for food innovation and startups. I had a fantastic, reasonably priced gourmet dinner in San Francisco through Grub.ly, a mobile service that connects you to chefs who host small private dinners at their homes. The best part? The 10 dining slots are filled with other people who sign up via grub.ly’s mobile service in your area, so it’s a great way to make new friends who live nearby.
Other cool concepts are Culture Kitchen, where you can learn ethnic cuisine from women immigrants, ShopWell, which let’s you scan barcodes to get health information and recommendations in the grocery store, and Spoondate, blind dates organized around whatever food you’re craving at the moment.
10. Find a friend at Google who will invite you to eat at the Mountain View campus. This is simply the most amazing free lunch you’ll ever have. Google really stands out for cutting edge workplace food initiatives to help employees eat healthy.