Why You Should Start Dining Farm to Table Style
How to Enjoy This Eco-friendly Trend
Have you ever eaten a meal on an actual farm? Maybe not. But surely you’ve heard of farm to table? The concept of farm to table is not new, but it has been evolving. Originally, farm to table meant that the table where food was prepared was actually on the farm where it was grown.
Now, farm to table more likely describes a direct relationship between restaurants and the farms they source from. Instead of sourcing ingredients from a distributor or third party, restaurants will go directly to the source and form a relationship with producers.
This planet positive trend started in niche pockets throughout Europe and then migrated to the United States and many other places throughout the world. Although the exact definition has evolved over the years, the connotation behind the phrase remains the same. It insinuates organic, fresh, and locally grown produce.
What Makes it Farm to Table?
Farm to table is a description that is loosely applied. It is not a certification and restaurants can describe their farm to table relationships in a number of ways. For example, a restaurant may establish a relationship directly with the producer or farmer. This is the most common farm to table method that restaurants follow. Establishing a holistic relationship with local farmers ensures high quality of produce for the restaurant. In return, the local farms receive a higher percentage of revenue compared to outsourcing through a third party.
Restaurants may also choose to establish a relationship with a local farmer’s market. A farmer’s market can be a CSA, or community supported agriculture, or another venue that represents a variety of local farmers. Both of these methods are equally beneficial to the restaurant industry and the agricultural industry in terms of finance and quality. When the relationship between a farmer and a restaurant is direct, there is a potential for a deeper connection and influence of menu ideas, product selection, and more.
Why Is Farm to Table So Beneficial?
There are numerous different ways that the farm to table movement positively affect our environment, society, and economy. Here are a few of our favorites!
Local Impact on Environment
A key part about farm to table restaurants is their capability to locally source their produce. This calls for a shorter travel shipment of ingredients decreasing our carbon footprint. As more restaurants increase their involvement with the farms that are local to their area, this motivates farms to diversify the produce they have available. This increase in produce diversity increases their nutrient richness of the soil and ultimately benefits the land used for farming.
Community Building and Social Connections
The farm to table trend increases a community’s overall responsibility to promote healthy produce and ethical behavior. Farm to table restaurants put an emphasis on providing organic produce, free range meat, and other planet positive efforts within the agricultural industry.
Economical Stability and Local Commerce
As local farmers build relationships with local restaurants, local customers indirectly build fiscal relationships with local farms as well. This circulation of money through local communities helps build a more cohesive local community and increases the money flow.
Get Connected & Find Farm to Table Dining Near You
As you can see, farm to table dining has many benefits. As the trend continues, the quality of food available to us will soar, agricultural practices will become more ethical, and local communities will continue to unite together.
We encourage you to support farm to table restaurants near you. Connect with local farms and your community food economy, and mention crops and practices that you wish to see in place at farms and restaurants near you.