Apparently as humans, we learn new things by relating them to what we already know. I wanted to reach out to our north coastal brothers and sisters, so I looked up a friend from a few years ago, Thora Guthrie who now heads Encinitas 101.

Fittingly, we spoke during that group's Wellness Week, a collaborative community event all about engaging people in improving every aspect of their health.

San Diego's north coastal region is famous all over the world for its waves, beaches and family destinations. Lesser well-known perhaps are places such as Coastal Roots and Coral Tree farms, where folks are carrying out pioneering work to connect people to sources of healthy food and renewal close to home.

Thora described how their downtown Farmers' Market continues to grow and invited everyone to come sample Encinitas' many, many great coffee houses. We agreed to find new ways of sharing information about great local food and drink in Encinitas. Hmmm, that relates to a new feature we will be introducing in our March issue, but it's still a secret...

Continuing with the coastal theme, I ventured to the source of all things related to sustainable seafood in none other than San Diego's beloved fishmonger, Tommy Gomes. The air inside Catalina Offshore Products was icy, and it takes you less than a minute to appreciate why as you look around to see a truly jaw-dropping array of gorgeous fish. Tommy's warm hospitality and breadth of knowledge make you forget everything but the story of fisheries around the world today. He emphasized in many ways, "Good fish isn't cheap, and cheap fish isn't good." Tommy gave me just a sampling of what's really happening out there on the seven seas—how technology has changed the game permanently, for example. Never has it been more important for fishermen, landlubbers who love to eat fish, and chefs to work together so we can continue to enjoy all the benefits of thriving ecosystems off our coast and around the globe. Tommy shows us how to bring this all together with his Collaboration Kitchen series, which inspired me so much that I volunteered at one of their regular events a few days later.

I tell you, talking with old friends and new ones about food in San Diego County makes it crystal clear that we live in an amazing place. Whether it's a historic main street or generations of fishermen families adapting to the 21st century global economy, our coast is rich with resources, both natural and human. Get out there and sample what makes our region unique! I think you'll agree that the more we learn about the talented people in our local good food movement here in San Diego County, the more tools we'll all have to live better and to give back.

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