Sacramento Food Blogger Amber Stott on Eating Local, Celebrating Farm-to-Fork Movement

 

Sacramento food blogger Amber Stott focuses on living “la vida locavore” – a lifestyle she’s cultivated since she was a little girl living in the Midwest.

Now living in Sacramento, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, she said she’s looking forward to Farm-to-Fork Week in September and sees Sacramento at the center of a national movement toward sustainable, healthy and delicious eating.

Food blogger and food literacy advocate Amber Stott

Her blog, “Awake at the Whisk,” encourages readers to make food choices consciously that help protect the environment and lead to a healthier overall lifestyle. She said she became aware of the way food choices affect the environment during an Earth Day celebration when she was in school, and she eventually decided to stop eating meat.

“When I was 16, I developed the discipline, and I have been a pescatarian ever since.”

At the time she decided to eat no meat other than fish, her uncle served as a role model, and the oceans weren’t subjected to dangerous levels of overfishing.

The blog serves a s a lifestyle for green living, Stott said.

“I do recipes and updates on what’s going on locally, like food reviews and cookbook reviews, and I give tips like how to store heirloom tomatoes,” she said.

When Stott began blogging in 2008, it was partly in response to comments she would get from friends and acquaintances.

“When I talked to people about eating local, they thought it was going to be overwhelming,” Stott said. “I realized that if I can do it, I know other people can too.”

Almost everything Stott eats comes from Sacramento farmers markets. Having moved to the city in 2001, Stott said she was amazed at the wealth of local and organic food in Sacramento, which in 2012 was designated America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.

“I go once a week to the farmers market,” Stott said. “I get everything I need – beans, cheese, tortillas, olive oil – everything. They have whole wheat flour and rice, and they even have meat. They have what the grocery store has.”

Small odds and ends such as oats and hot sauce take her to the grocery stores, and a third source of food comes from her own backyard, where she has nine different fruit trees, blueberry bushes and rhubarb.

When she features a restaurant on her blog, Stott breaks down where each ingredient comes from. All of her recipes include local ingredients, and many, including her recipe for pumpkin black bean chili, are entirely locally sourced.

Pumpkin black bean chili from Amber Stott, Sacramento food blogger

But for Stott, it’s not just about following a green lifestyle and writing about it – it extends to education and food literacy.

“My background is in nonprofit work, and I needed to get into the community in a bigger way, so I started the California Food Literacy Center in 2011,” Stott said.

Through the Food Literacy Center, Stott takes her knowledge of nutrition and healthy and green eating habits into classrooms and the community, educating an audience that isn’t as active online by giving hands-on demonstrations.

With the farm-to-fork movement gaining momentum on a national scale, Stott said it’s an exciting time to be living in Sacramento, and she calls 2013 the “year of the locavore.”

Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Week is in September, which coincides with a state resolution passed last year designating September as Food Literacy Month.

“Farm-to-Fork Week is really exciting,” Stott said. “The timing of this – I really do believe the time has come that we as a community have embraced local eating. It’s not just about the farmers market crowd. It’s an economic boost to all of us.”