November 19, 2007
Word of the Year on Everyone's Tongue

Well, what's it going to be - "locavore," "localvore" or "loctarian"? To the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary, it's "locavore" as the most fitting word to define eating locally grown foods in season. They've declared "locavore" their word of the year for 2007.

"The word 'locavore' shows how food lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment," said Ben Zimmer, editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press, in a prepared statement. "It's significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way."

In preparing meals or eating out, locavores tilt toward dishes made with ingredients grown close at hand, thereby reducing storage and shipping costs seen as detrimental to the environment.

Oxford editors trace the origin of "locavore" to four San Francisco women who two years ago introduced the term to describe people who try to eat only food grown or produced within 100 miles of where they live.

Locally, locavores often can be spotted shopping at farmers markets, tending a garden in their yard, or eating at such restaurants as Mulvaney's Building & Loan, The Waterboy, Monticello and Hawks. They may or may not be in the company of a "cougar," an older woman romantically pursuing a younger man, which Oxford editors chose as a runnerup to locavore for word-of-the-year honors.

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