When you hear the phrase Farm to Table, what comes to mind? Perhaps …
- Shopping close to home, at a farmer’s market, out in the fresh air.
- Supporting local farmers and getting to know them.
- Small trucks bringing food straight from the farm (not tractor-trailers hauling it across the country).
- Just-picked fruits and vegetables at their peak for freshness, taste, and nutrition.
- Finding new varieties of fruits and veggies and using them in new recipes.
- A tasty way to fill up half of MyPlate.
- All of the above?
We have a nice collection of Farm to Table materials and I especially like our Bring the Farm to Your Table notepads. Here are some ways to use them today:
- When meeting with a client, talk about where the nearest farmer’s market is located and what’s in season (here’s a handy online guide by state). Write this information on the notepad, tear off that page, and let them take it home.
- Send a handwritten note to clients, co-workers, or students – yes, by snail mail! Include a tip about a nearby farmer’s market and suggestions about what to buy.
- Host a photo contest on social media. Ask people to take pictures of their favorite farmer’s market or farm stand, or a healthy dish they made with locally-grown produce. Winner(s) get a Farm to Table notepad (or wristband).
In the workplace, our Bring the Farm to Your Table poster will brighten things up and remind employees to stop at the farmer’s market for some delicious fresh produce. Provide some healthy recipes for what’s in-season.
In July, we celebrate National Berry Month, Peach Month, and Watermelon Month – you could spend a week on each fruit, providing facts, recipes, and preparation ideas!
Local food is becoming an important trend in the U.S. The USDA estimates that over $8 billion dollars worth of local foods are produced and sold in the US. (https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Newsroom/2016/12_20_16.php)
This trend is being shaped by the Millenial generation who are becoming sustainable farmers after leaving high-tech jobs and this same generation also wants to buy these foods.
After shopping at many local farmer’s markets and grocery stores that excel in local food sales we feel it is a very good trend.
Whole Foods has a great article about this trend here:
Basically they point out that the bio-diversity of food is preserved. Land use remains diverse. Food quality remains much higher and local dollars boost the local economy.
When you see the quality of local produce as well as some of the lower prices you will have to agree. By promoting this type of food in nutrition education you can help consumers focus on adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet.
It is really fun to find many types of swiss chard from green to rainbow. Or to explore many types of beets, kale, apples, tomatoes, and lettuce. The feeling one gets while walking through these markets is one of abundance and excitement. Instead of giving up cake and all kinds of packaged snacks you are getting all kinds of new fruits and vegetables to try in your kitchen. Plus walking through the markets is great exercise.
Check out our recent photos and brand new theme titled, “Bring the Farm to the Table”
Here is a handout about the benefits of Local Foods and how to purchase them.