The Localvore Diet

Recently, after taking a pot of chili to a housebound friend in Milwaukie, I had the opportunity to visit Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store. While enjoying lunch in the outdoor seating area, we realized Bob himself was seated nearby. Before we left, we struck up a conversation during which I mentioned that I appreciated having the mill’s wonderful selection of flours within ten miles of my house because I’m a localvore.

Bob chortled and said “That’s a good way to starve to death.” I informed him that in the summer I’m able to purchase 80 to 90 percent of my groceries at the local farmers’ market (less than five miles from my house) and he retracted his statement.

Granted, I’m now able to live in Portland where in the summer one can literally find a farmers’ market every day of the week and a plethora of choices on the weekend. We even have weekly markets that stay open through the winter.

Still, sticking to a localvore diet takes a bit of effort and sometimes sacrifice. The best market, closest to my house, requires getting up at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Normally, we fall into bed around 4 a.m. so getting up that early that can be difficult. But, we drag ourselves out of bed most Sundays for the privilege of getting first pick .

And, I must confess, I don’t always successfully resist things like avocados, oranges, and bananas when I do go to our local market, New Seasons, especially in the winter when there aren’t as many choices in local produce.

But nothing compares to picnicking in a local park, eating sandwiches made with country bacon (which really shouldn’t be called bacon, it’s nothing like that processed stuff that crisps up when cooked), lettuce, and tomatoes from the market on bread made with Bob’s flours or enjoying what we call “market salad” — a bowl filled with fresh lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, scallions, snow peas, carrots, beets, and whatever else we found that week, topped with home made dressing.

In the summer, we finish our meals with sweet berries, juicy peaches and plums, or luscious cherries. Then, a localvore diet seems luxurious rather than sacrificial.

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