“Farm to Table eating” isn’t a new concept to the food industry, however, it is a term that many people still aren’t aware of. This is the concept of purchasing locally grown food directly from the source. It means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm, without going through a store or distributor along the way. Farmers benefit by being able to have more of the profit their goods can earn at the market. In addition to being healthy for you, getting your food locally at the farmers' market is healthy for the environment.
Farm to table eating means that the food we are eating comes from nearby, and does not waste lots of energy and resources to ship the food halfway around the world. This can include growing your own garden for sustainable consumption at home. You are eating food in your own environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for our specific climate and region. When we buy our food directly from our local farmers' market, we support local agriculture. We are also supporting the environment by reducing the usage of fossil fuels.
In my view, foods straight out of organic or biodynamic farms that have been grown in healthy soil taste way better than inorganic foods. Organic and biodynamic farmers do not use harmful chemicals and pesticides when producing the food. They pay high attention to soil protection that helps prevent soil erosion and preserves the value of soil and the environment in general. This in return provides us with nontoxic food and provides the farmers a safe working environment as they are not exposed to dangerous chemicals. Usually, lots of inorganic food contains high amounts of chemical, unwanted fats, sugar and salt which cause a number of dangerous diseases such as cancer, cholesterol and heart attacks. But choosing farm to table eating reduces such possibilities.
Shopping at the local farmers' market is very enjoyable and often educational because we can actually talk to the farmers, learn about their methods, and choose the ingredients that work for us.
To implement 'Farm to Table Eating' in your own life you need to develop the ability to assess product and learn how to figure out the quality and ripeness of the produce. You must know your seasons and what grows in your area. I check websites for information regarding seasonal produce. When I am at home in Australia, I check the 'Seasonal Food Guide Australia' website for information about what fruits and vegetables are in season around Australia at different times of the year. With this tool and skill you know what you're likely to find at the farmers market. You can do a bit of meal planning and shop accordingly. For example, I love tomato and when local tomato has just come into season I would eat lots of tomatoes, any way I can. In my house, if we aren't enjoying tomatoes in caprese salad or salsa, we eat Roasted tomato with chicken or beef, we cook into a creamy tomato soup, and some sliced raw in a lettuce salad.
Here are a few tips for shopping produce for your 'farm to table' ingredients:
- Know what’s in season - If you know what’s in season you’re more likely to come home with the best tasting stuff. Simple. Check out the app ‘Seasons’ for quick tips to what’s fresh when, in your area! The app even shows you the schedule of markets close to you!
- Communicate with the farmers - ask them about how the food was grown and their growing practices. Ask about a food you don't recognize, how to cook it, and whether it's coming in or heading out of season.
- Choose food that has little or no labeling or packaging and free of additives, preservatives, colorings, artificial ingredients, or other chemicals.
- Choose organic foods that are seasonal in your region, and those that grow within a few hundred miles of your home whenever possible.
- Choose animal products that come from chickens, cows and sheep that roam in pastures and eat grass
- Choose single-ingredient, unprocessed foods (that means organic oat groats, rather than oat puffed cereal with cane juice—even if it’s organic).
- BYO shopping bag This will minimize waste for the environment
Check out - dish.allrecipes.com/from-farm-to-table-farmers-markets/ for great Farm to Table recipes