EUGENE, Ore. — The Willamette Valley produces a bounty of local products: vegetables, fruits, meats, herbs and much more. But a study revealed – of all the food we eat in Lane County – only 5 percent of it is locally produced.
There are a lot of reasons for that. Among them, we’re eating out more and a lot of restaurants don’t focus on getting their ingredients from local farms. This week, though, KEZI 9 News is looking inside the Top 9 Lane County restaurants that source locally.
There always seems to be a customers streaming into the No. 9 restaurant on the list, the Morning Glory Cafe in downtown Eugene.
“We do a pretty high volume of business for the size of business we are,” said co-owner Josh Alderson.
Morning Glory is the city’s oldest continually vegan and vegetarian restaurant, which means it uses a lot of produce. Alderson and his partner Claire Johnson took over the cafe nearly two years ago and wanted to make sure the ingredients they used come from local farms.
“We are in a pretty nice region throughout the season to have so much available to us,” said Alderson. “We, at home, have always done our best to find products that are from this region and within our food shed, 100-mile radius kind of thing.”
“Just supporting our neighbors and friends and families and everyone else who lives in this valley,” added Johnson. “If we can keep things flowing between us, then we can try to sustain our little economy here.”
A quick glance at Morning Glory’s website and you can see where parts of your breakfast and lunch came from.
“We feel like it makes a big difference in the quality and freshness of regional produce,” explained Alderson, “just the flavors that we can work with here. It just feels really good and it tastes better.”
That doesn’t come without challenges, though. Since the cafe’s so busy – and has a set menu – it can’t always get the ingredients from local farmers. So Morning Glory offers rotating specials in addition to its staples.
“It’s been a really fun time, especially coming out of this season. We get to experiment with so many different things, it’s really fun,” said Alderson.