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Wake up and smell the organic coffee

By: Cearra Cannon, Special to The News Messenger
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The image that accompanies the term “going green” often isn’t a very pleasant one. Some individuals envision themselves sweating out the commute on an incompetent bike or chewing on tasteless granola in the pursuit of a healthier or more “eco-friendly” lifestyle. I myself am a huge proponent of green living but I understand that it’s not for everyone. Similarly to snail escargot, base jumping and long-distance marathon running, it’s an acquired taste and worth trying. Lincoln has the unique position of being one of the most accessible places to enjoy a life where being a little easier on Earth’s resources is as simple as stopping by an old favorite neighborhood joint. Simple Pleasures, the former Sandwich Alley, occupies a small piece of 5th street in Lincoln but offers a huge selection of home-style food that won’t leave the atmosphere reeling, once you’ve paid your bill. Owner Diana Burke delights in serving her customers with good conversation to accompany the food that has made her catering business a must-have for many Northern California residents. When I recently dropped into the restaurant, Diana was busy at work baking a pie from scratch, which would soon grace the plate of a very lucky diner. After joining me at my seat, Diana talked about how she would never stray far from Lincoln and that she takes pride in “making the customer’s day. It’s all about making someone happy, even if it’s for that moment while they’re eating; I know that they feel a little bit better and happier. That’s what doing business is about.” Hardly the words of a chain-eatery owner, I’m sure. Diana also uses the scraps of food left over from your meal to fuel a herd of goats and recycles all bottles, glasses and cans, rather than clog a landfill. She states that “everything in a community should be within walking distance, that’s how things should be run,” and therefore never strays far from local to fill her plates. In the height of summer, many of us are tempted to drive any distance further than 10 feet with the air conditioner blasting or else sit in front of the TV and avoid the sun’s cooking rays. While these are probably the sanest of choices to spend our day, why not walk to breakfast instead of drive the three blocks? Instead of spending well-earned dollars on an expensive restaurant in Roseville that most likely costs an arm and a leg to drive to, why not wait until the later hours of the evening and take your date for a walk, and then make him or her an original meal with your findings from the Farmer’s Market? Trust me, you’ll seem just as hip and cool as you would pretending to like sushi or waiting in line for an over-priced meal. Cearra Cannon is 17 and a high school senior.