by CHAD BERG,
Executive Chef at Deschutes Brewery
Farming is an integral piece of the American economy, therefore it follows that plants are an integral part of not only the economy, but our everyday lives. We all love farmer’s markets, roadside stands and our local market’s produce section. Many of us grow our own with backyard gardens. Is there anything better than harvesting your own carrots, peas or greens?
Plants have always been a part of mankind’s diet and the variety of plant-based foods is becoming more and more diverse. From childhood, when we probably turned our noses up to the broccoli mom put on our plate, to adulthood, we have been exposed to many varieties of plant “food”, some of which we love, and some not so much. In many cultures, plants are the centerpiece of most meals, with other sources of proteins as a minor additive.
The food world is ever evolving, and there is a definite trend to more plant-based products. We are seeing large companies focusing on plant-based food items, making them available to all types of culinary outposts, from McDonald’s and food carts, to pubs and fine dining restaurants. Hopefully this trend represents the future of food consumption, which has proven to have a positive impact on our health and the environment.
We are blessed in Central Oregon with some innovative farmers and restauranteurs that provide us with great choices of plant-based foods. These foods can stand alone on their own merit or provide a balance to the proteins that are also locally available. Purchasing plant-based foods supports our local economy, provides a healthy lifestyle and is environmentally responsible. And of course, there are many other plant-based products. When you buy disposable silverware consider plant-based vs. the standard plasticware.
It is a brave new world out there, with more access to fresh foods than ever before. Please take the time to explore plant-based products, and take advantage of all the benefits they offer.
Stock Photos | HomeSpun