With the number of working farms decreasing and the population increasing, many people are beginning to view fresh, local farm goods as superior to more distant imports. And well they should.
Nothing beats a vine-ripened tomato picked at its peak and turned into bruschetta within a few days. This is just one of the advantages of farm-to-table restaurants.
Customers want fresh, healthy ingredients, and farm-to-table dining is the answer.
Farm-to-table doesn’t mean that the chef runs to the farm next door to pick your salad immediately before serving. As wonderful as that would be, many restaurants aren’t in an area where that would be feasible.
Fruits and vegetables often come from a cooperative of several farms. The produce may travel a bit, but it’s nowhere near the distance produce typically travels to get to the larger chain restaurants. Farmers pick foods for these chains extremely early to get them to restaurants all over the country.
Many of the farms in a cooperative are local and relatively small, and restaurants that want to serve organic food will choose organic farms for their produce.
You Know Where Your Food Is Coming From
One of the advantages of farm-to-table restaurants is the ability to know where your food is coming from. With food coming from all over the world, typically from large-scale farms, it is rare for a diner to know where their meal came from in this day and age.
As the general public becomes more knowledgeable about food and what kind of processing it goes through, customers appreciate this part of the farm-to-table restaurant. Chefs will often have the details of where the food comes from and how it is grown or raised printed on the menu for patrons to enjoy.
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Grass-Fed and Free-Range
As consumers, we have become more aware of and concerned with how the food industry treats the animals that provide our food. Not only that, but we also know that things like our beef contain more nutrients when they feed more naturally.
Of course, fresh beef and poultry require careful handling to avoid contamination, and farm-to-table restaurant owners take a lot of care in this process. Because they get their meat only from local farms, they understand the correct equipment for transporting it in the safest possible way.
It Simply Tastes Better
Fresher ingredients taste better, as do well-grown and humanely raised foods. If health isn’t a concern, taste certainly is.
Farm-to-table means eating what is in season rather than frozen foods. When all its ingredients are crisp and in season, a simple salad thrills the taste buds in a way only freshness can. Once you experience farm-to-table freshness, it’s hard to go back.
Using only what is in season also allows great chefs to use their creativity to develop new menu items. This variety keeps the restaurant exciting and fun.
If you have not yet experienced farm-to-table as a consumer, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how enjoyable it is.
And if you are a restaurant owner or chef considering farm-to-table, keep in mind, supporting farm-to-table not only pleases consumers but supports communities as well.