Typically around this time of year, the calendar tells us spring is coming, but it usually doesn’t feel like it when we step outside. Not so in 2017, when mid-February brought us days warm enough to shuck our coats. I saw a line at old-school ice cream parlor Franklin Fountain grow to a June-like length down Market Street, and noticed people sipping their first cold brews of the year all over East Passyunk.

I have mixed feelings about the early spring. Of course I like ice cream and cold brew and the feeling of warm sun and fresh air on my skin, but the fruits of climate change are ultimately more terrifying than fun.

Our shared responsibility for protecting the earth weighed heavily on my mind as this issue came together. According to EPA data, a fourth of global greenhouse gas emissions are the result of agriculture. That’s why so many of us make an effort to buy our meat, dairy, and produce from local farmers trying to do it another way, a better way. At Edible Philly, we bring you their stories and hope to inspire you to make choices about the food you buy with conservation on your mind.

At Edible Philly,
we hope to inspire you to make
choices about the food you buy with
conservation on your mind.

As in every issue, you’ll find resources here to tread more lightly on our planet, at least when it comes to how what you eat impacts the environment. Starting on page 16, you’ll see our annual Local Heroes Awards feature, honoring six outstanding people, businesses, and organizations that are all doing their part to make our local food scene as sustainable as it is delicious.

This year, we partnered with the Philly Farm and Food Fest on the Local Heroes program, and I’m excited to tell you some of our 2017 winners will be with us at this year’s Fest on April 8th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. I’ve attended this sprawling event for the past 6 years, and I can tell you it is as informative and inspiring as it is fun. There is no better way to learn about where your food comes from and why it matters than having a conversation with the people who make, raise, or grow it. I’ve had hundreds of those talks with farmers and artisans at the Fest, and I know I will discover new favorite food items—not to mention story ideas—this year.

I hope to see you there!

Joy Manning

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