Farm To Table Dish BannerSome of us may have been lucky enough to have experienced farm to table cooking first hand growing up – maybe you lived on a farm, or had a small vegetable garden. But truth be told, many more of us ate frozen dinners way too often and the farms were relegated to elementary school field trips.  Fortunately for the rest of us, the farm to table movement has been gaining popularity in restaurants lately as more Americans desire better tasting and better quality foods.

“Farm to table” is exactly what it sounds like … but, you might ask, doesn’t everything come from farms? Yes, mostly. “Farm to table” can also be used to describe locally sourced food items … which means the deliciousness comes from your local farms instead of large, industrial farms thousands of miles away.  When sourcing food from local farms, fruits and vegetables are harvested at the height of ripeness instead of pre-ripeness to better sustain long travels. And on this Earth Day, that’s a win for the environment because of reduced pollution and reduced fuel consumption. By supporting restaurants with farm to table practices, you are also supporting the local farms creating a happier eco system and local economy!

Some people might balk at the term farm to table because it sounds ostentatious or expensive, but actually, offers savings at a variety of these restaurants.  In fact, it’s easy to search for restaurants that haveshutterstock_21791554_try farm to table or locally sourced ingredients on our program. Simply enter your city or zip code, select “Locally-Grown Ingredients” under the Special Features filter options … and voila! Your healthier, eco friendlier and more delicious dining options appear. None in your area? Check back often as the movement is growing!

Curious what cuisine at a farm to table restaurants might look like?  Here are a few examples from restaurants on program that are fostering the movement. In Chicago, City Farms Grill offers a mouth watering Chicken Salad Sandwich with Amish chicken, dried cherries, walnuts, fresh herbs, spices, red grapes, mayo all on French bread, and Farm Market Café, LLC sources food from local farmers and gardens.

shutterstock_76855774On the west coast, Café Divine makes use of organic products and believes in local, sustainable agriculture. Looking at their lunch menu, they have a Ham and Emmenthaler (a yellow-medium hard cheese originating from Switzerland) sandwich – honey cured ham, emmenthaler with fig mustard and an apple on a house baked roll. YUM! And on the east coast, we have Co-Op Food & Drink on our program. By sharing their passion for locally sourced food … they have delicious items such as Co-op Fries with Truffle and Parmesan and Pulled Pork Sliders with Mustard Sauce and cole slaw.

There are many more farm to table restaurants where those came from!  Celebrate Earth Day with us by trying one out this week.  Better for the environment, better to our stomachs and (with better for your pocket book!