Local food, also known as sustainable food, has become an extremely popular craze. The concept of making use of natural resources promotes the welfare of the environment and supporting local businesses. The elimination of the need to transport and preserve produce in order for it to reach a food business minimizes the pollution caused in the farm-to-table process. Small, local farms may be pricier than industrial farms, but they promise more natural, organic produce, and promotion of local businesses, bonding the community. Though the concept of farm-to-table produce is very romantic, like all other fads, it has both pros and cons. The freshness of the produce cannot always make up for the diversity available when non-local suppliers are considered. Such factors may make it worthwhile for food businesses to consider a combination of local produce and imported ingredients for the best quality combination of raw ingredients.
When Farm-To-Table is a Good Option
The freshness of just-picked fruits and vegetables can be priceless when creating salads, vegetable carppacio and other raw foods in a food business. The newly picked produce will allow the best possible texture to be preserved no matter how thin the ingredient is sliced. The difference in textures and tastes between fresh produce, and produce that is a few days old, is subtle and subconscious, but significant. By advertising the use of local produce in the kitchen, food businesses can draw customers with the promise of crisp, flavorful ingredients. With many people adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, farm-to-table cooking is becoming all the more appealing. However, by only purchasing local produce options, food businesses limit themselves based on the climate of the region. Avocados will simply never be as creamy if grown in New York, for example. Therefore, if a food business on the East Coast decides to “go local,” they are eliminating sunny-weather fruits and vegetables, such as avocados. Though some restaurants have thrived on this concept, the results and success depend heavily on seasonal weather, local farmers, and limited supply. Not only does this raise the raw ingredient prices for the food business, and thereby the menu prices, but it also means that the supply will be less predictable than the more industrial supply options that import produce from various areas. By finding a middle ground, the best taste, sustainability, and price medium can be attained.
Supporting Local Farms
In conclusion, the farm-to-table is a romantic culinary trend with clear-cut benefits. Food businesses can create positive relations with the community by supporting local farms. The quality level of ingredients will be raised by buying local produce, since the fruits and vegetables will go straight from being picked to the restaurant fridge or storage areas. The only drawbacks are the (usually) elevated prices, and narrower range of options for produce purchase. By using a combination of produce suppliers, local farms and industrial farms, food businesses can make the most of the market produce available.