Jan 31, 2018Blog

You might have encountered the term ‘farm-to-table’ or similar iterations such as ‘farm-to-fork’ in conversations, signs, and media.

It’s been popping up everywhere as a new buzzword, so much so that you might have gotten curious about what it is. However, you might have found it hard to pinpoint an exact definition of it.

It’s not just you. The term ‘farm-to-table’ has been loosely used in different contexts, even when the use is not technically valid. It can really get confusing.


So, What Is It?

Farm-to-table has been used to describe food from restaurants that harvest their own ingredients from their own nearby garden or buy their ingredients fresh locally from someone else’s farm.

It could also be used to describe food from farmers markets, where farmers directly sell their produce to shopping consumers.

However, what really defines farm-to-table is its philosophy. In its essence, farm-to-table is really a social movement. It is the advocacy of serving fresh organic food and ingredients from local farms within the community to restaurants, cafeterias, and domestic kitchens. Its purpose is to cut the third-party influence such as store, market, or distributor and return control in the hands of consumers and farmers.

So when you see it used in the groceries and canned goods, that’s the wrong use of the term ‘farm-to-table’.

Farm-to-table is the community’s reaction to processed and untraceable food. It’s a contrast to processed food which emphasized convenience and immediacy. The processed food industry has benefitted big companies and manufacturers the most while being detrimental to health and environmental concerns. Farm-to-table emphasized a direct relationship between farmers and consumers with regards to their connection to food while putting the focus on health and the environment.

Traces of its birth can be seen way back the hippie counterculture movement. Today, it has surged in popularity together with the interest for GMO, global warming, carbon footprints, and conscious consumption.


How Does It Help Me?

Farm-to-table has a long list of benefits for both consumers and farmer.

Consumers can rest assured that their food is 100% organic, and enjoy a higher quality of food from fresh ingredients. While processed food is made with standard procedure, farm-to-table food has been injected with a lot of attention and care. Restaurants who cares a lot about the quality and freshness of their ingredients are big advocates of farm-to-table, too.

Farmers get more profit from cutting middlemen and witness firsthand how their produce will be used. They can also increase their engagement and cultivate strong relationships with their local community. This will only strengthen their business.


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