What Is Farm to Table? A Healthy Eating Guide 

by TJ Cannamela January 14th, 2022

Eating healthy foods costs about $1.50 more per person per day than eating unhealthy foods. Is this increase worth it to you?

For some people, this increase in price isn't an option. For others, it's inconvenient.

Eating healthier choices can be harrowing for some families. But, a popular concept for healthy eating called Farm to Table is rising in an effort to solve this problem.

By encouraging healthy eating from local establishments, Farm to Table is changing the ways that families approach their meals throughout the day.

But, what is Farm to Table exactly, and how can you join the movement? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Farm to Table?

While Farm to Table isn't a brand new concept, it is becoming more mainstream. Farmers' markets were the first iteration of the concept. But, it's growing more and more as the years go on.

In short, Farm to Table refers to using produce and livestock that come from local farmers and ranchers. It combines the elements of eating healthier and buying locally.

Why Is Farm to Table Important?

Since the concept of Farm to Table combines two great ideas, there are many benefits to trying it.

First, it promotes healthier eating. The produce that you buy at the store has likely already lost more than half of its nutritional value.

If you get your produce locally, you'll be able to get your ingredients quicker. So, they'll have a higher nutritional benefit.

At the same time, the food will have a richer taste because of the higher nutrient content.

Second, Farm to Table helps local communities by supporting their farmers and ranchers. You'll be strengthening your local economy and keeping small family companies in business.

These small farms and ranches have been suffering for years because of cheaper produce and meat imports from other countries. Transporters freeze these products and preserve them with additives. 

These international farms and ranches also bring unknowns. It's hard to track how they're raising their livestock or protecting their food.

Buying internationally gives us higher costs, older food, and unsafe products.

Farm to Table practices encourage local sourcing, bringing local farming into the limelight once again.

What About Farm to Table Restaurants?

There are plenty of farms and ranches that have their own restaurants or source out to nearby ones. Because these establishments are receiving their produce and meat directly from local farms, we call them Farm to Table restaurants.

When you're planning to eat out, you should support these establishments. They are making an effort to give you fresher, better-tasting food. And, they may be skipping bulk prices at the grocery store to do it.

Farm to Table restaurants offer a variety of food options when you don't feel like cooking yourself. Just search "farm to table restaurants near me" to find choices in your local area.

How Can I Tell If Produce and Meat Are Farm to Table?

Unless you're working directly with a Farm to Table provider, it's hard to tell what you're getting. There isn't a clear industry definition as to what qualifies as Farm to Table.

To get started, you could do a search: "farm to table near me." However, you may find some choices that don't fit your definition of fresh and local.

The best way to determine if your produce and meat are fresh is to look at the practices of the farm/ranch where they came from.

Do a little bit of research on the farms that you're interested in. Look at their food safety practices and animal treatment.

You may even be able to see if those farms and ranches offer online information sessions or tours. 

The more that you learn, the more you'll know about where your food is coming from. And, you may be able to find Farm to Table restaurants that source from the same farm.

How Can I Use Farm to Table at Home?

The Farm to Table concept is a great way for families to come together at the dinner table. It makes cooking and eating less stressful.

But, you may have to build a better relationship with this new food that you're bringing into your home, especially if you aren't used to using the produce and livestock that you're getting.

To make Farm to Table work for your family, you need to make a few adjustments.

First, pledge to cook more food at home. Depending on the size of your family, this may be easier or harder. 

But, you're bound to have fun preparing fresh food with your new ingredients from the Farm to Table program. 

To get started, start small. Pick one or two recipes that you like, and go from there.

Second, you should plan your meals before you shop from the farm or ranch. If you know what you need beforehand, you'll be more prepared.

Third, branch out and eat more plants. You don't have to turn into a vegetarian or a vegan, but you can incorporate more vegetables in your family meals. (Not to mention that eating more plants decreases your risk for early death.)

Fourth, eat with your family as much as you can. Make dinner time enjoyable by spending it with people you love.

You can all try new recipes together.

Fifth and last, you shouldn't be afraid to try anything. If you're unsure how to use an ingredient, there are plenty of recipe ideas online. You could also ask your farmer or rancher what they suggest.

Farm to Table in Florida

So, what is farm to table? Well, it's a food sourcing concept that encourages healthy eating and local buying.

Farm to Table is taking the world by storm. You should join in on the trend and find a Farm to Table program near you.

If you're looking for a Farm to Table program in Florida, you should consider Farm to Table Ft. Myers. Buckingham Farms is a great choice for sourcing your local produce.

If you're ready to get started, order online today. We can't wait to see what you create.

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