As cities grew and food consumption skyrocketed, the result was a society feeding off of processed foods and drive-thru dinners. This trend led to a major shift in the distance food traveled and the content of that food but there is a new trend in the culinary world. It is a movement characterized by consumers seeking locally sourced ingredients on their grocery store shelves or at their restaurants and it is growing.
People are seeking healthy, sustainable lifestyles in higher numbers now and the “farm to table” movement is underway.
Food wasn’t always packaged and shipped thousands of miles. Before the rise of cities, massive highway systems, and food transportation improvements, food traveled less than 50 miles for the vast majority of Americans. Convenience eventually trumped freshness though and processed foods had their day. A new movement is underway, however. Ingredient labels packed with sugar, fat, sodium and preservatives are driving consumers to the “farm to table” way. Simple, nutritious, seasonal, local food is in the spotlight now and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Demand for local, healthy food is driving new restaurants, farmer’s markets and grocery stores to make them available. The price and limited availability are improving as a result. Local farms are given business from restaurants seeking the freshest of ingredients and smaller, environmentally conscious grocery stores are stocking their shelves with local foods. Joining this movement is easier than ever and the convenience is steadily improving. Sustainability is key and the “farm-to-table” movement benefits the local economy by lifting up hardworking, local producers and presenting their food products.
Under the 2008 Food, Conservation and Energy Act, a food item can be shipped no more than 400 miles in order to be considered a local or regional agricultural food product. The long-distance shipping of food to fulfill the convenience seeking customer often leads to fruits and vegetables picked before fully ripe. During transport, they absorb the remaining nutrients from their surroundings and what results are less tasty, nutritionally weaker food that doesn’t hold a candle to the local, properly picked food.
If the healthier and tastier aspect of the “farm-to-table” style is not motivation enough, it is also better for the environment. Less transportation miles equates to lower emissions. Food travels, on average, 1500 miles from farm to customer according to a study by Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The prevalent food transportation system uses up to 17 times more fuel and 17 times more C02 is emitted. Transitioning to locally-sourced food benefits our environment both short term and long term. The movement towards fresh, local food saves fuel, hours, C02 and time.
Once, this movement could only be found in cities like Boulder and Seattle, but now large cities and small-towns across the country are joining the trend. The benefits of producing local, fresh food have increased to the point where cities like Miami are joining in. “Farm-to-table” restaurants can be found across the city presenting a variety of cuisines. The best food in Miami can often be found at farm-to-table restaurants. If you are looking for Miami Italian restaurants, head to Toscana Divino. Chefs scour local markets and seek out farms to gather their ingredients and craft menus that present the freshest of food. Vegetables are selected, prepared and served all within the region instead of shipped thousands of miles.
This conscious effort to break free from the chaotic, convenience driven lifestyle that plagues society now is growing. Simple, fresh food’s value is increasing and the health-conscious consumer is driving the market to fulfill requests for fresh, inventive fare. Seek out restaurants supporting local ingredients and join the movement. Convenience is growing in this trend and the “farm-to-table” movement is on the rise.
Check out what Toscana Divino has to offer Miami with their “farm-to-table” menu: https://www.toscanadivino.com/italian-menu-miami-fl/