Food trends come and go, and many can be very unhealthy – Bacon. Cupcakes. Bacon cupcakes? While they may sound amazing, it’s nice to know there are some trends that are actually good for you!
According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, on average, fruits and vegetables travel almost 1,500 miles before being sold to a consumer. In addition, 39% of fruits and 12% of vegetables are imported from other countries. In order to keep the produce from spoiling during transit, it is often harvested before it is fully ripened. This does not allow the produce to absorb all the nutrients from its surroundings. According to the USDA, this causes the produce to lack nutrients that would be present if it were allowed to ripen on the vine.
Locally Grown – Better for All
What else is bad about food traveling so far? It’s not good for the environment. The average 18-wheeler would burn about 500 gallons of diesel fuel in a 1,500 mile trip. Also, when produce is imported in, it doesn’t help the local economy from the sale of farmed food.
One of the best places to start finding locally grown foods is a farmers’ market. Here you can find not only produce, but artisan cheese, local honey, and hand crafted beer and wine. You may also find local farms have roadside stands or established stores that are open year round. You will be able to find local beef or chicken, as well as fresh farm eggs for your farm-to-table menu. An app called Locavore can help you find local food that’s in season. It’s free, and also features seasonal recipes. You can also find a seasonal ingredient map from Epicurious to find out what’s fresh in your area.
Farm to Menu
If your establishment is participating in the farm-to-table movement, there are many options to showcase your locally produced dishes. Be sure to highlight any local meats, cheeses, or produce on your menu. Search through our website to find just the right dinnerware, flatware, and drinkware for your recipes and craft beer.
Recipes to Try
Note sure where to start? Here are a few recipes you can try with fresh produce as a main ingredient.
Feel free to share any great recipes or ideas on how your establishment is taking part in the farm-to-table movement!