Knowing the original ingredients of the dish on your table becomes a new movement called the Farm-to-Table movement. This movement is kindly accepted by the people nowadays because it is the best way to appreciate the farmer and to support the local product.
You can easily find a restaurant that serves the product from the local farmer in every city around the world, from high-end restaurants to quick-service restaurants.
The movement successfully brings a positive impact especially for the farmer to sell their product. The freshness of the product can be guaranteed since the restaurant can control the process regularly.
1. The History of the Movement
The very first restaurant which initiates the movement is Chez Panisse. This restaurant is opened by a restaurateur, author, and food activist, Alice Waters in 1971. Chez Panisse started the business by focusing on the ingredients rather than technique and developed a supply network of a direct relationship with local farmers. At the beginning of 2000, the number of farm-to-table movement has grown rapidly along with “the American Farm to Table Restaurant Guide lists restaurants located in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia”.
2. 4 Principles Behind the Farm-to-Table Movement
To make the farm-to-table movement growing rapidly until today, there are four principles behind the movement.
The movement exists in developing the local food system, especially focusing on low-income households. With the minimum transportation fee, the price of the farmer product is hopefully more affordable.
The product should as close as possible with the restaurant, so it can be more engaging between the farmer and the restaurant owner. Besides, proximity can help reduce the environmental impact of transporting the product across the country.
By the movement, a community should produce its own needs to minimize the need for outside resources or long-distance transportation of food. So the impact will be strongly sensed by the people of the community because they can get what they need without put extra effort to get the product from the other region.
The movement also become one of the programs to keep the existence of the specialities from a certain region. Besides, the next generation should be to meet their food needs.
3. The Benefits of the Farm-to-Table Movement
With this movement, the transportation to send the product can be minimalized because the product is planted locally. Besides, local scale farms are more likely to grow many varieties of plants which makes the soil better for the future generation.
The diversity of the plants also reduces the existence of the pests. It instantly can reduce the amount for a needed pesticide for small scale farms that do not practice organic farming.
In the United States, there is a fast-casual restaurant that offers locally sourced food at a relatively affordable price namely Sweetgreen. Nowadays, the restaurant already has more than 60 locations across the United States. The restaurant works with more than 500 farmers to limit the distance of food travels across all their locations.