Farm-To-Table Movement: Understanding The Locavore
Local farms and growers have struggled against the ever-expanding reach of Big Agriculture for decades.They had to fight against corporate executives, battle politicians, and still have to ask for a fair share of government funding for which now even nonfarmers are eligible. Food connoisseurs and online culinary school students who appreciate the experience of fresh, quality produce and meat equally appreciate the farm-to-table movement. You can join the movement too by becoming a locavore; here’s how:
Before you go into full guerilla locavore mode, you should understand the farm-to-table movement. Farm-to-table eating is an extension of the organic, natural food movement that began in the 1960s and builds upon the idea that a relationship with your local farmer is important to you living a healthy lifestyle. Instead of buying items that are from a large feedlot or are mass-produced, you create a kind of partnership with the grower and the animals and plants that he or she raises. The difference between the fish that has been pulled out of the water and put on ice for three or four weeks and the fish that was caught yesterday is clear as night and day. The vegetables that are bought locally will have an easily distinguishable taste when compared to the vegetables that have to travel a thousand miles before they start cooking on your frying pan. Chefs and owners of restaurants who want to deliver the best quality products that they can afford often buy locally. There are even restaurants that are known to offer food that is exclusively local and adjust menu options according to seasonal availability.
There are varying degrees of locavorism and some types can get pretty strict about where and how they get their nutrition. Some people set their boundaries at 50 or 100 miles. Some people keep it simple and say local is within their state’s borders. Essentially, you are a locavore if you are aware of what you eat and commit to buying your meats and produce locally and as often as possible.
- You can play a big part in helping the world move to a more sustainable relationship with food by first visiting a local farm. Say hello to the growers and the people that run the place. Get to know what types of plants and livestock they keep.
- Small farms rely on direct sales, so support them at farmers markets.
- Preserve locally grown food for the winter by freezing it. Try making sauces or preserves out of berries and other types of fruit.
- Find out which restaurants in your area support local farmers and frequent them.
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