You may have noticed the term “produce resourced locally” on the menu of your favorite restaurant. What does this mean, and why are restaurants adopting a policy of using locally grown produce? Geoff Mills from CommercialKitchensDesign.co.uk will discuss the benefits of purchasing and consuming locally grown produce. Read on to learn more.
For quite some time now, owners of restaurants and hotels have purchased produce from afar and had it shipped in. Today, this trend has changed as more and more food service businesses opt to buy locally grown produce instead. In so doing, they support the local economy, create a good working relationship with local farmers and other businesses and provide their patrons with the freshest and most healthful menu choices.
It has always been well understood that, in order for a local economy to thrive, local businesses must support and do business with one another. A healthy local economy benefits everyone. When local growers and farmers are able to provide produce to local businesses, it’s a win-win situation. Transportation costs are greatly reduced and food nutrients are retained thanks to a short trip from field to table. Furthermore, when using local produce, chefs are challenged to create signature local dishes that cannot be found elsewhere.
Use of local produce results in menu choices that change with the seasons and reflect the local culture. Unique local recipes might contain herbs that are especially grown in the region, honey from local bees, heirloom vegetables, meat from breeds of cattle, sheep or swine that are only kept locally. The menus produced from these unique choices are a refreshing change from the generic menus to which we have become accustomed over the past few decades.
Restaurants and hotels whose foods are locally sourced can host one of a kind seasonal events that patrons are sure to look forward to and enjoy. Meals made of locally sourced foods are far more flavorful and nutritious than those made from ingredients that have clocked significant road mileage.
Local Relationships Benefit Your Business, Your Patrons And The Earth
In the United Kingdom about a quarter of the freight traffic on the road consists of food trucks. When you make the smart choice to buy produce locally, you are contributing significantly to a reduction of carbon emission and of stressful traffic conditions. Additionally, the choice to source your produce locally reduces the amount of air travel needed to cart imported foods from place to place.
When you purchase meat and produce locally, you know where it came from and what it consists of. You can be sure you are not getting unknown ingredients (such as horse meat) and unhealthy additives. Your chef can create meals with confidence knowing that the ingredients are truly farm fresh and pure.
It’s Easy To Create Traditional Foods With Locally Sourced Ingredients
With corporate farming, any type of plant or animal can be artificially produced all year round. One of the many negative results of this is that, as a society, we have fallen out of touch with the significance of the seasons.
Another negative aspect is the fact that corporately farmed fruits, vegetables and meats are bred and grown for their ability to travel well rather than for their wholesomeness and flavor. Food has become homogeneous overall with a bland and none too appetizing taste.
Foods that are corporately formed are uniform in appearance and flavor. Treasured heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and livestock have been driven into extinction or near extinction by agricultural mass production. When you source your fruits, vegetables and meats locally you have the opportunity to support the renaissance of these unusual plants and creatures that may only thrive in your area under the care of a genuine traditional farmer.
Your Own Garden Gives You The Shortest Distance From Field To Plate
Restaurants, hotels and catering establishment with grounds to spare have begun taking advantage of the move toward locally grown produce by growing their own. There is no better way to get fresh, delicious, nutritious produce than to maintain a kitchen garden.
In addition to providing great food for your kitchen, a kitchen garden makes a nice attraction for your guests. People are sure to appreciate seeing your well maintained orchards, neatly planted veggie garden and aromatic herb garden.
You may need to add some specialized equipment and practices to your business to be able to maintain a healthy garden, keep bees, brew beer or raise and butcher your own livestock, but luckily, we are here to help. Turn to Cucina Projects for the best in advice, services and equipment that will help you join the growing trend toward local produce.
- It’s time to get started, growing your own vegetables.
Amy Rice writes about locally produced foods, when not writing she enjoys horse riding and visiting the cinema.