The Farm-to-Table Movement
By: Natalie Furniss
The concept of farm-to-table began circulating the food scene in the early 2000’s as consumers became increasingly concerned with big industry food production. Products with short shelf lives were being imported from afar and pumped with the preservatives and chemicals needed to maintain freshness despite the long journey. They arrived at restaurants and grocery chains full of bright and tantalizing colors with the guarantee of lasting for weeks on the shelf. As companies innovated in extending the life of a common apple, the taste and integrity started to become noticeably degraded. Any blind taste test would reveal a night and day difference between an imported product and one picked from the vine days before. Consumers took notice and started supporting local with their almighty dollars.
In years since, the popularity of and demand for farm fresh products has intensified nationally. Today, more than ever, people are paying attention to labels, food safety, ingredients, and traceability. The story of how and where the product was grown, cared for, transported and packaged became a primary focus and the fewer miles traveled was preferred by many. Plus, there was a bonus: shopping local not only resulted in better quality food, but also supported the economy, reduced carbon emissions from fewer transportation miles, and limited the disconnect between farmers and consumers.
Why is it so important to care about this process? Humans extract most of the nutrients needed for growth, energy, brain function, body function, and overall health from the food we consume. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 25% of poisonings and 5% of cancer cases, neuropsychiatric disorders, and vascular diseases worldwide are caused by chemical exposure. Each year, 600 million people around the world (1 out of 10) become ill after consuming contaminated food. It’s no wonder why the demand for food transparency has increased; our lives depend on it.
Over the next 12 months, we are going to break down the barriers between consumers and their food. The focus in January is about “Healthy Eating.” We’ll look at the nutrient cycle from grass to people, why grassfed is gaining in popularity, how to properly cook grassfed and pasture raised meats, and choices you can make in order to feel good about what you eat. Follow along by joining our Facebook, Instagram, or Newsletter and get involved in the conversation.
It’s a new year, full of hope and possibilities. It’s time to take control of your health, make educated and better food choices, and start to see how one simple shift in thinking can result in big changes. Whether it’s called farm-to-plate, farm-to-fork, or farm-to-table, knowing where your food comes from and that it’s raised with care are important things to pay attention to. We’re paying attention.