The popular phrase “farm to table” literally refers to fresh produce — fruits and vegetables — that are picked straight from the field (or farm) and delivered to your table vs. having to be preserved and/or frozen and shipped long distances to reach your grocer (and ultimately your table).
In recent years, the culinary world has seen the growth of “farm to table” trend, and there’s a reason why it’s now here to stay.
A Return to Our “Roots”
At the turn of the 20th century, most of our food came from sources in a 50-mile or less radius. However, the development of the shopping cart in the 1930’s ,which became extremely popular nationwide during the 40’s and 50’s, propelled the rise of mass-produced and processed foods. Then, with improvements in transportation and shipping infrastructure, Americans, whether they realized it at the time or not, saw a decline in the quality of food as a trade-off for volume and convenience.
During the rebellious 60’s and 70’s, as people began to protest government and the “establishment,” by examining their choices and the impact on the environment and their personal lives, the “farm to table” eating movement began to flourish.
Eating farm to table was a win-win for a person’s health — the fresh, in-season food grown organically with little or no chemicals, tasted better, and the contributions to the local economy and sustainability of the community could not be refuted because eating locally sourced foods helped curb the consumption of fossil fuels in food transport and also benefited local businesses.
Purchase Fresh & Local
Today, while purchasing fruits and vegetables typically out of season at the grocery store year round is still an option when they’re shipped in from far off places, it’s eating farm to table fresh that offers the consumer the best taste and optimum nutrients from their food. Competitive prices are also reflected with the savings in transport and the community’ sustainability.
So, the next time you go to buy, think local and visit your local certified farmer’s market and grocer that delivers produce from the local farms to you.
What’s in season for fall?
For more information, visit: sfma.net/consumer/inseason.shtml
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV