The agricultural regions have rich histories of squatters and immigrants, and together with the beautiful simplicity of seasonal crops and local game, makes for an exceptionally wide range of ethnic comfort food. With so many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the state, locally raised animals and organic crops are no longer inconvenient. Many of the smaller towns are quite progressive in lifestyle and offer a rich variety of vegan and sustainable dishes.
One of the areas leading the way and considered to be one of the most educated cities in the U.S., Davis is a laid-back college town, made popular through its studies and advances in farming and animal husbandry, biotechnology and other life sciences. Davis is recognized for its liberal politics, one example being its bicycle-friendly pioneering and the implementation of cycling facilities and infrastructure. Whole Earth Day and Picnic Day are examples of youth revival festivals that you might experience in Davis.
The reasons for healthier eating vary and often involve political and environmental values. I certainly am not virtuous enough to debate those issues, but there is a definite argument for plant-based and organic diets. Better eating starts one step at a time and it is important to replace something healthy and satisfying with everything you give up. Wherever you are in your food philosophy, know that there is a glorious destiny for each part of the whole animal or plant, and precious little needs to see the compost.
This practice of utilizing all the parts of an animal or vegetable easily results in a family-style dinner, and makes economical leftovers. With the traditional nuclear family being less of an assumption these days, family dinners are translated into less conventional extended family and friends, and communal events take on a new life. Park and neighborhood gatherings can become day long picnics, with everyone bringing their own special gift to the party..