In the last fifty years or so, there has been a huge disconnect when it comes to understanding where our food comes from. Today’s generation wants to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies, from where it comes from to how it has been grown, and rightly so. This is what helped to birth the farm to table movement in recent years, enabling people to feel more connected with the original source of the contents of their plate. However, while the initial farm to table intentions may have been nothing but pure, the term has been exploited by many in the industry, used as a marketing ploy to target those who care about their health.
Does Farm to Table Mean the Produce is Organic?
Many people tend to equate the term farm to table with organic, but this is not at all the case. Produce that is grown organically uses the minimum amount of chemical fertilizers, but many farms, even if they may be selling produce at your local farmer’s market, still use unbelievable amounts of chemicals when growing their produce. However, while some farms may not be officially certified organic, they may still use organic and sustainable growing methods. The good thing about farm to table produce is that it opens up a direct line of communication between the consumer and the farmer, meaning that you are able to speak to them and find out exactly how your food is produced.
Food miles is another popular term that is often linked to farm to table produce, and refers to the number of miles a certain item has travelled before it ends up on your plate. Needless to say, the fewer miles the better, but the term farm to table does not necessarily mean that the produce has been grown locally. Again, this is something that is relatively easy to find out yourself, and, once you have identified the farms that are most local to you, you will be able to keep buying from them, trying all of their seasonal produce.
Farm to Table Restaurants
As mentioned earlier, farm to table is a term that is now thrown around by a large number of venues, but many use this term in quite a misleading way. If you are visiting a restaurant solely due to the fact that they use “farm fresh ingredients”, it would be worthwhile looking into this a bit more, checking to see if they really are invested in sustainability and local produce.
Farm to table is a term that never existed in the time of our ancestors, as eating fresh, locally grown produce would have been the norm back in the day. While it is great that people are now wanting to be more connected to the source of their food, and know more about how it is grown, it is also important to understand the way in which the term is being misused across the industry. It will not be long before the farm to table term loses its value due to being overused, but, if you have the correct farm to table know-how, you will be able to find markets and restaurants that source the freshest, and highest quality, local produce.