View from the Strip
By Casey Lessard

Erryn Shephard of F.I.N.E. asked me the other day what I like to eat. I struggle to respond, but here goes. I love pizza and fries, a good burger, pasta, Indian-style food, burritos, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
One catch, though. I’m vegan, which means I don’t eat animal products. So my pizza has no cheese, my burger is a veggie burger, and my chocolate is dark chocolate. And while we’re at it, let’s talk organic and local.
It’s not easy shopping or eating out as a vegan, I must admit. There’s not a lot of pre-packaged food for me to eat, and restaurants often struggle with the concept (although some, like the ones featured in this issue, are eager to experiment). So, against all odds, I’ve learned to cook. And I like it.
I love eating high quality, local and organic vegetables, and finding creative ways to use them. I wasn’t always this way. Five years ago, I was on my way to being overweight, and I didn’t like vegetables that had funny names. It’s not my mom’s fault. You can ask her.
Now that I’ve discovered real food (thanks to Angela’s insistence), I don’t know what I would do without it. I’m sure our restaurant friends at F.I.N.E., Hessenland, and elsewhere would agree.
Good food is all around us, and we’re lucky to live surrounded by such abundance. If we don’t appreciate it, it won’t be here forever. I suggest you take a cue from the people at Sunnivue in Ailsa Craig, and embrace real food while you can. This is a great season to eat local food, so what are you waiting for? Aren’t you hungry yet?