I never thought much about the term “farm to table” until I watched a documentary on Netflix. The importance of farm to table was far greater than I had realized. Not just for the simple fact that you are directly sourcing your produce, meats, and other foods directly from the source, but also how much you are helping the environment too. When you grow a garden or buy from your local farmers market, you are cutting down the fuel and emissions used to transport food. When you shop at a farmers market instead of big box grocery stores, you are buying directly from the farmer making them 37% more likely to survive. Buying locally also stimulates the local economy and creates more jobs. I have been trying to find small ways that we as a family can better this beautiful planet earth we call home and eating farm to table is just one more way that we can.
It is also so much healthier for our bodies. A few years ago I began my Keto journey. Not long after that, I began buying more organic foods when I could and watching the ingredients list of most of the foods I purchased. What I was really lacking on was buying organic fruits and vegetables. It is scary all the chemicals and sprays they put on produce. This summer I planted one tomato plant and by the next day I had 7 different plants total. Although small compared to many other people who garden, I decided spur of the moment I wanted to try growing some of our own vegetables. We planted lemon cucumbers, squash, green beans, Serrano and Spicy Thai Chili peppers, and two tomato plants. All but one has survived and are thriving with a simple water routine. If I had know how easy it was, I probably would’ve grown my own garden a few years ago. The taste of our fresh vegetables are so much more flavorful than those that we buy at our grocery store. It also was fairly inexpensive only costing $22 for the entire garden.
So why aren’t more people eating farm to table? I am not entirely sure, but I do think most people are like me and don’t fully understand the importance. After collectively learning over the last few months, I have to put together a few tips on how to break the barrier of eating farm to table every day.
1. Grow a garden. Growing a garden is much easier than most think. Like many, I was very apprehensive and thought I’d be wasting money. But we have actually saved money now! With a little water and sunlight, home gardens are a great, inexpensive way to eat organic fruits and vegetables.
2. Shop at your local farmers market. Shopping at your farmers market is the second easiest way to eat farm to table. Farmers markets often have locally sourced produce, honey, meat, herbs, spices, and more that are directly from local farms. Support local and eat direct from farms!
3. Pick your own produce. Many farms give the option to come and pick your own produce. This is a great learning experience for children to see where their food actually comes from. It also gives you a chance to pick out exactly which produce you want and what you actually need.
4. Sign up for a locally sourced box. Sign up for a local farm box which often has fresh fruits and vegetables. Many will also have local meats, eggs, nuts, and sometimes flowers.
5. Try 7 days of unprocessed food. This can be hard, I know. But try 7 days of eating unprocessed foods. Fresh baked bread, homemade sauces sourced from local herbs, and even fresh squeezed juice from fruits you bought at the farmers market. You would be surprised how easy it is to eat unprocessed foods when we force ourselves to do so. Although you may not always eat unprocessed foods, after the 7 days you will begin to do it more often. For example, my husband and I do not buy Alfredo sauce in a jar anymore after finding how easy and tasty it was when we made homemade.
You may not always be able to eat farm to table, but making small efforts to do so can not only have healthy benefits for yourself and your family, but also will have environmental and economic benefits for your local community. Taking small steps to a more sustainable world is at the utmost importance.