With the advent of faster traveling vehicles and the convenience of highways, transporting food over long distances has become increasingly easier. While this may initially appear to be one of the many modern-marvels we have the luxury of enjoying today, hauling food over long distances is actually detrimental to our health, our economy, and our community.
The phrase “farm to table” has become a widespread movement in recent years. This practice encourages consumers to minimize the distance their food travels by buying from local growers. Most of the food we consume on a daily basis is not even grown in our own country – airplanes export these goods from across the globe. As a result, much of the food we purchase is rarely fresh: they are packaged in boxes, shrink-wrapped, or polluted with preservatives. For example, The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture reports that apples can travel as far as 1,555 miles and lettuce can travel over 2,000 miles before reaching their final destinations.
There are so many benefits of knowing where our food comes from and who has produced it. While it is easy to enumerate on these advantages, the following three are prime examples of why everyone should embrace the farm to table practice:
- Health Benefits: when you buy your food locally, you are ensuring that your produce is healthier and more nutrient dense. Produce that is shipped over large distances is harvested before it is actually ripe to prevent it from spoiling during transit. As a result, it lacks essential nutrients and probably also contains processed chemicals to further preserve its shelf life. In contrast, buying locally ensures that your food is naturally grown and free of preservatives. Additionally, local produce only needs to be harvested once it is ripe since it does not have to travel a long distance, which means you reap more health benefits from the nutrients!
- Stimulates Your Local Economy: if you utilize locally grown produce, you can also help stimulate job creation by circulating more capital throughout the local community. Supporting these local grocers prevents large companies from monopolizing the food industry and allows local farmers to develop their business.
- Builds Community: a significant downfall of buying imported food from a supermarket is that you never have the face-to-face interaction with the person responsible for producing your food. However, at local farmer markets, you have the opportunity to meet the farmers who grew your produce and learn more about the food you are consuming. Local farmers markets also have the opportunity to educate the public about the ethics of food production and the farm-to-table movement.
Cello Ristorante & Bar is a proud supporter of the farm to table movement. Executive Chef, Eric Olsen, ensures that his Mediterranean menu is crafted with locally grown produce. By embracing this philosophy, Cello hopes to set an example for its guests and encourage others to undertake this effort.