The Dish on Local Food

Monterey, CA – Sarah Wood's passion for food dates back to elementary school when she planted her first organic garden. "I almost went to culinary school instead of journalism school, and my career would've probably taken a totally different path," said Wood. Wood spent more than fifteen years working as a journalist. Most recently she was Editor-in-chief of Absolute Return, a magazine focused on the hedge fund industry. Today her two interests are finally merging. Wood is Editor and Publisher of Edible Monterey Bay. It's a new quarterly local food magazine. "We really want to connect residents with the local farmers and fisherman and chefs and vintners that grow and prepare and deliver their food to them," said Wood.

The Edible name may sound familiar. There are about seventy Edible magazines in the US and Canada. It all started in 2002 when Tracey Ryder and CaroleTopalian created the magazine Edible Ojai. Co-founder Tracey Ryder says the timing was right. "People are really interested in eating healthy, better tasting food. They're concerned about food security issues. They want to know where there food came from and they want to be able to trace it back to the farmer that grew it. I think that there's just a whole resonance around the local food movement right now for people of all walks of life," said Ryder. Their idea quickly took off, so the pair stopped publishing and started Edible Communities. The company licenses the Edible brand and business model to publishers. "We have certain minimums for the quality and the use of the edible brand, but other than that our publishers have the freedom to create the magazine that's really right for themselves and for their community. That's why Edible Brooklyn and Edible Seattle are very different magazines," said Ryder.

For Sarah Wood that means a magazine focused on celebrating the diversity of food in
Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. "We also really want to highlight local growers and food producers that do their business in a sustainable way because we feel that will have a huge impact on the health of local people and the local economy," said Wood. The first edition of Edible Monterey Bay includes a cover story on the local history of Abalone, an interview with Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, recipes and a guide to local Farmer's Markets. It can be picked up free at area businesses like Whole Foods and New Leaf starting Thursday.