Published: April 17, 2013
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What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say: “farm-to-table?” Do you envision tree-hunging elitists rolling up to supermakerts in really expensive cards to fill bags with expensive fruits, vegetables and free range chicken. But “Farm-to-table” is becoming a very popular trend in various restaurants around the country and around the world, but “farm-to-table,” is leaving restaurants and heading to backyards around the country and the world and especially to barbecue menus.
SEE RELATED: BARBECUE FOOD TRENDS IN 2013
A Barbecue & Food Trend: Farm to Table Explained
Farm-to-table (or farm-to-fork) refers to, in the food safety field, the stages of the production of food: harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sales, and consumption. Farm-to-table also refers to a movement concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers. Linked to the local food movement, the movement is promoted by some in the agriculture, food service, and restaurant communities.
“Farm to table” can also be classified as a concept of purchasing locally grown food directly from the source. The term comes from the idea that the less time and fewer hands it takes for the food to get from the farm to the table, the fresher, more environmentally sensitive and community minded it is.
Benefits of the Food Trend: Farm to Table
While you might get a good feeling from picking a tomato from your own garden, or purchasing a bundle of kale from your local farmers market, you are also getting the benefit of healthier food. In addition to the many health benefits this growing food trend: Farm to Table also has many other benefits including helping the economy of your local community.
Because fruits, vegetables and meat products have to travel long distances, local food can be grown to be tasty and healthy – not just resilient to long travel. According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, in a study of 16 common fruits and vegetables, the average one travelled just under 1,500 miles before it was sold to a consumer. Additionally 39% of fruits and 12% of vegetables were imported from other countries.
To keep food from spoiling during these long trips, some produce is picked before it has had a chance to fully ripen and therefore the produce does not absorb the great nutrients from its surroundings which would be present if the fruits and vegetables were able to fully ripe before they get to the store.
As stated before, one of the major benefits of the food trend Farm to Table is how this trend helps grow and help your local economy. The reasoning is because the money stays right within in your community by helping the local farmers.
Here are a couple of more great benefits to the Food Trend: Farm to Table:
Keep inventory longer. Food that is purchased directly from the farm will naturally last longer on your shelf. It hasn’t spent time in a processing plant or on a truck for shipment. It came straight from the ground to you, meaning you just bought yourself more time to think creatively.
Invest in value. Many local farmers will compete with nationally recognized grocery store chains, but at times may charge a bit more because the quality of product that is being sold may be greater. Local produce and meat is more likely to be organic which increases the value of your menu.
Create a local partnership. Building a business partnership between your business and local farmers, and other restaurants or business that support local business, can create a marketing network that promotes and sustains the local economy.
How does Farm to Table Affect the Barbecue and Grilling World & Conclusions
For us grillers and barbecuer’s don’t we want the best products to work with? I think that if the food trend of Farm to table becomes a complete standard on how we receive our produce then I think that we as consumers will be getting a better product to serve to our friends and family. In addition I believe that if we also demand better products and better produce the price of those items will decrease in dramatic fashion and the farm to table will become a standard that we will come to expect.
What do you think of the Farm to Table Movement? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, I would love to know what you are thinking.
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