Eating sustainably and supporting local, small farms isn’t a new thing—it’s 40 years in the making. Thanks to Alice Waters, her restaurant, Chez Panisse, and a city that welcomed her idea with open arms.

Today it’s not hard to imagine eating organic produce or free-range meat. More than ever we know where our food comes from. The Bay Area is home to the idea mainly because of Ms. Waters and her successful campaign supporting the sustainable food system. This week we celebrate 40 years of Chez Panisse with social gatherings and eating. Eating a lot. Eating a lot of fresh tasting food.

This upcoming weekend, August 26-28th is full of feasts. The downside? Tickets start at $500.  The money does go to a great cause, supporting the Edible Schoolyard Project, but most of us don’t have the money to enjoy such sophisticated socialization.

This Wednesday, the celebration is open to everyone else who doesn’t have a fat wallet but a hearty appetite.  Stop by Maiden Lane (that’s between Grant and Stockton) on your lunch break downtown. Starting at 12:30 until 2 p.m. there will be live music as local famous folks like Dave Eggers and Sophia Coppola pass out boxed lunches full of local and organic food. The event is free, but donate to the cause! Five dollars will help benefit the Edible Schoolyard Project.

School Lunch

Wed. August 24th, 12:30-2 p.m.

Maiden Lane

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall