Stamps may be going the way of the Dodo bird since so many of us have forsaken letter-writing for texting, tweeting and online communications. But their endangered status is not why we’re writing about them in a newspaper section on sustainability.

The postal service recently released a set of American “Celebrity Chefs” Forever stamps. Attention Maine farmers, foragers, steadfastly seasonal chefs and proudly local food producers – whether you know it or not, you are standing on the shoulders of at least three of the five honorees, namely James Beard, Julia Child and Edna Lewis. (Also getting stamps and no small potatoes themselves are Joyce Chen and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, who popularized really good Chinese and Spanish/Caribbean food, respectively, in the United States.)

Beard, who died in 1985, championed American food many decades before it was fashionable to do so. He promoted real food, real ingredients and real cooking and never lost his love for the bounty of his native state of Oregon (he grew up in that other Portland).

Julia Child may be best remembered for bringing French food to American housewives, but she also made cooking fun, fashionable, accessible and smart, all qualities that reverberate in the food world to this day; she died a decade ago.

Edna Lewis, who died two years later, spent much of her cooking life trying to recapture the tastes of her childhood (what the New York Times once called “close-to-nature cooking”) in Freetown, Virginia, on a farm that had belonged to her grandfather, an emancipated slave. She ran a fashionable Manhattan restaurant for a decade or so – Cafe Nicholson – and wrote several books. Her acknowledged masterpiece, “The Taste of Country Cooking,” touted local, seasonal and fresh as simply the way things were. This was in 1976, when many of us were still mainlining bouillon cubes, French onion soup mix, canned olives and canned fruit cocktail.

So put pen to paper, Celebrity Chef stamp to envelope and honor those who honored fresh and local way back when.

— PEGGY GRODINSKY