NICOLE VULCAN
  • Nicole Vulcan

"Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in." Frances Moore Lappé, author of "Diet for a Small Planet"

Locals, how many times have you touted local beer, local culture or the fact that your parents' parents' parents came here on the Oregon Trail—thus vetting you as a bona fide third/fourth/20th generation local?

That's cool and all, but hopefully you're taking the same tack with your food. Don't let me get too bummer-town about the specter of climate change, but it's happening, people. (Are you breathing some smoky air right now? Bam.)

While buying local food has a host of health benefits, it also calls us to seek local solutions to local challenges. It helps us cut down on the trips needed to truck food from the I-5 corridor (and much farther afield) and thereby cuts down on our collective carbon footprint. And of course, it benefits the local economy countless times over.

When it comes to supporting local food, we couldn't name just one organization, because so many are doing this great work every day. In the spirit of supporting the type of local culture that can actually have a direct impact on the lives of ourselves and future generations, we're giving a nod to three entities in our area in this year's Best Of Staff Picks.

Central Oregon Locavore is the spot you can find locally-produced goods—and get community support in a host of ways—year-round.

The farmers markets in our area, including (but not limited to) the Downtown Market, the new Eastside Market (ups for the Eastside!) and the NorthWest Crossing farmers markets are where you can buy farm-direct. Knowing your farmer is not just a meme created for a bumper sticker.

The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance spearheads projects including a workplace community-supported agriculture program, agricultural tours, mini-grants for local farms, donations of produce to people in need and so much more.

We could devote an entire page to each of these organizations, but for now, consider this our opportunity to lift up these organizations, doing so much to lift up others.

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