What Does ‘Farm-to-Table’ Really Mean?

Farm-to-Table Food Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Organic or Non-GMO

Over the past decade, thanks to books like Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories and documentaries like Food Inc. and That Sugar Film, more and more consumers have begun to question where and how their food is grown. In response, the food, event catering and restaurant industries are rushing to evolve to meet this need for “real food” which has come to include farm to table, organic food, and foods free of genetically modified ingredients.

The so-called Farm-to-Table movement began with the goal of eliminating as many steps as possible between the farmer and the consumer. However, there are two distinct views as to what Farm-to-Table actually means.

Traditional Farm to Table

This is the most literal definition of the term. Caterers and restaurants who offer traditional Farm-to-Table meals will:

  • Purchase food that is locally grown, often within a set radius such as 100 or 200 miles.
  • Change their menus with the seasons, since only seasonally available produce is used.
  • Use organic foods as much as possible. (This depends on the chef.)

Many of the best catering businesses and restaurants follow this practice.

Pragmatic Farm to Table

Other chefs are less concerned about the distance that the food travels than other considerations. They want:

  • The best product or produce possible, regardless of how far it traveled.
  • A strong relationship with specific farmers.
  • To support small farms with great quality products that might not be sustainable without a chef’s patronage.
  • Organic and Non-Genetically Modified food whenever possible.

Bring Farm-to-Table Freshness to Your Corporate Event and Wedding Catering

While most people think of Farm-to-Table as a restaurant offering, Handheld Catering has always worked with local Bay Area farmers markets to find the best ingredients possible for our clients’ food. Our event and wedding catering highlights the best local and seasonal foods hand prepared for you and your guests. Contact us today online or at (408) 692-4782 to schedule your special event.