An Old Fashioned Good Time: The 1st Ever LA Food Swap
My spread at the LA food swap (Heather Parlato/LAist)
You know what this town needs? A good, old-fashioned community food swap! At least, that's what my friend, Emily Ho, thought when she read about other organized food swaps around the country and decided to set one up here in LA. The inaugural swap took place Sunday, March 27, 2011, but if you missed out this time, the LA Food Swap is open to all participants willing to make homemade goodies to trade (space permitting), so sign up to find out about the next one.
A table of jams, lemon curd & lemon rosemary cupcakes at the LA food swap (Heather Parlato/LAist)
How it works: You sign up with the organizers, prepare the foods you plan to offer, bring them to the swap, and set each one up with a silent auction sheet where others who want your item can write their name and what they're offering to trade in kind. Once all the offers are in, participants are able to swap items, or if their products are in short number, they may negotiate until they reach mutually beneficial agreements all around.
Fantastic 4 cheese & artichoke biscuits at the LA food swap (Heather Parlato/LAist)
Another thing I learned is that anyone who thinks LA is lacking in community just isn't trying to create it. Everyone at the swap was so nice, gracious, and excited to explain what they made, share ideas, and encourage each other. Some of us are friends and neighbors, but in large part we all met new people doing the same thing (quietly railing against conventional food systems—hey, it's fun). The energy of the people really made the event, and the follow-up tweets of how everyone is enjoying the garlic bread, the satsuma mandarin powder, the lemon blueberry jam, the ginger sprout salad (need I go on?) have been great to read.
Emily's beet fettucine, Satsuma mandarin powder, and pink peppercorns at the LA food swap (Heather Parlato/LAist)