Considering all we’ve been through in 2020, we want to outline what it means to us for you to be part of this community. After more than a decade in print and hundreds of thousands of online impressions, let’s see the goals we’ve set out to achieve, the people we are inspired by, and the momentum we are building.

So, what does it mean to be part of the Edible San Diego community? It means you’re part of a team that invites anyone who eats food in our county to have a seat at this table. We strive to connect you to the people and things that feed all of us, offer us health, and bring indulgence and joy. These are the signifiers of a good life: defined by you and your circle. It also means we are connected to over 80 award-winning publications and media licenses across North America.

Each license is independently owned, and each publisher uniquely focuses on local people, producers, and businesses, showcasing the food and varied cultures that exist in our respective home bases. All publishers tell their local stories, allowing any of us to travel vicariously, maintain connections with loved ones and beloved places far from home in Covid times, and feel like part of a much larger community of people who care about what’s local.

There’s value in knowing we are all connected. In a climate where newsrooms were closing at a national average of 100 per year before the pandemic, and now bearing witness to the harsh impacts Covid-19 has had on our compatriots in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries—not to mention the current norm of socializing through masks and screens—let’s not take that connectedness lightly. 

Your eyes reading this right now means the world to us. While the value of these words and images in print and floating around on the internet is exponentially subjective, the need for an editorial voice that is trustworthy, consistent, insightful, and accessible is stronger than ever. Edible San Diego has reorganized to step up to this challenge. We seek to grow good food and connections that inspire action and empower healthier choices to make access to better nutrition inherent. Good food is not pretentious, and access to it, like good healthcare, should be universal. (And if we had more access to better nutrition and less to government-subsidized commodities like corn syrup soft drinks and hydrogenated soy deep-fat frying oil, we might need less sick care, but maybe that’s the point.)

These qualities have been part of the mission all along because it’s what’s best for people, the planet we live on, and the many types of life shared here. Even Sir David Attenborough has published a book and documentary on the topic, A Life on Our Planet, and an Instagram story campaign to promote awareness and engagement.

Our collective voices chanting the sentiments for food equity and improved production practices are loud enough to hear because we echo these vital messages together. And the good news is that it’s making a difference, even to scale. For example, because of the people committed to buying pasture-raised eggs, Vital Farms went public this summer with a $235 million IPO. Because of the people who choose to eat less meat and more vegetables, we have more modern plant-based options than ever. And because of restaurants like Burger Lounge, local founder of the grass-fed burger concept, even conglomerates like McDonald’s are making a commitment to regenerative agriculture.

This is because of the choices people like us—the food people who have a profound understanding that we are what we eat—make.

While we can’t put the burden of creating a sustainable food system solely on consumers, there is no doubt that a food revolution has been provoked. To the joys that food offers us and the community we’ve featured in the past, present, and future, at the beginning of a new decade on the precipice for change, this 60th issue is a collection of recipes and stories that suggest we can return to the land and embrace food traditions like our Indigenous communities. We can help families farm in the inner city and create futures for their children, the New Americans, by buying their produce at the farmers’ market. We can advocate for better meat production across the country. And we can work together to create a vision for what this dream of a just and equitable, resilient and renewable,low-waste, regenerative, and sustainable food system looks like.

Food people styled and photographed by Haley Hazell

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About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Maria Hesse is the executive editor and designer of Edible San Diego. Her interest in functional arts led to a degree in interior design, which inspires her passion to be an advocate for sustainable living through food. She enjoys balcony gardening and designing crochet patterns in her downtime. Find her @mariafromediblesd and @waysidestudiowest on Instagram.