The trend to find the freshest healthiest products has been reaching a fever pitch for the last few years. Everyone wants to find the healthiest alternative at fair prices. Doing grocery shopping is now a synonym for going to farmer markets and looking for those advertising cruelty-free products, as well as locally supported farms.
So, of course, this race for eco-friendly food has birthed the Farm-To-Table movement, but is it just a trend? Or is it really something you should be interested in?
What Is It About?
It got started as a movement looking for produce made with ethical standards and grown locally as an effort to support local farms and fresh, natural crops (as opposed to transgenics or processed foods). It was all supported on the simple living trend that has been going strong for quite a few years now.
Eventually, the restaurant industry became a part of the movement. Small and big restaurants alike started advertising their freshest products as more and more people began demanding cruelty-free meals. Sure, now everyone’s claiming to be Farm-To-Table in one way or another. Even big fast food chains like McDonald’s have been playing up their links to farmers and locally grown products. So, while some parts of the Farm-To-Table movement have been rendered meaningless by those treating it as just a new trend, other parts remain true to its origins.
What are the benefits?
Though everyone could benefit from Farm-To-Table is not something that everyone can try. It’s undeniably hard to shop only fresh and local for those who work 24 hours a day and barely have time to go grocery shopping. Now that almost every product has a “locally grown” label, being able to find those that are actually truly locally grown, can feel like a full-time job.
Those who are able to ditch the processed foods and find the time to shop Farm-To-Table will benefit from a diet with fewer calories and sugar. And, of course, a lot of variety. The products available change with the seasons which means eco-friendly buyers will get to try different fruits and vegetables every couple of months. Besides, most of the vegetables you find in grocery stores are picked before their time, so they don’t have as many nutrients as the locally raised vegetables that were allowed to absorb all of their nutrients before being sent to the market.
Another plus is that they will be helping the environment. Most of the products available in grocery stores come from different parts of the world which means the companies that produce them are creating a pretty big carbon footprint for themselves and those buying from them are supporting that kind of behaviour. Farmers’ markets sell products from local farms so whatever you buy, rest assured it only travelled a few miles from your local farm to the crates in front of you.
Finally, buying local will help you save a few bucks. Artisanal products get a really bad rep when it comes to prices but that’s largely a myth. There are expensive products regardless of their origin, and some fruits and vegetables become more pricey at certain points during the year, but generally, farmers’ markets aren’t that much more expensive than regular grocery shops.