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Farm to Fork

Farm to fork; Farm to table. Currently, it’s a popular concept in our current food culture. It means different things to different people, but the biggest and most common factor is the traceability of your food and knowing where it comes from.

Most places that don’t boast “farm to table” get their produce from other countries, via their supplier when they’re ordering their food for service. And, there isn’t anything wrong with that. It’s a system that’s been proven to work, to provide some of our most favorite menus and their items. But lets start at the beginning.. where did farm to fork come from and why did it become so popular?

I did a little research about how food used to be preserved before modern day. The McCord Museum in Canada has a decent article explaining how foods were preserved before refrigeration and more current solutions. Before 1850, meats were usually eaten fresh. If they weren’t, they were smoked or heavily salted to be able to keep for later. As the industrial revolution grew, people were leaving their farms to work in factories, creating a food shortage and also a disconnect from fresh, readily available produce, that were grown in fields near their homes.

In 1809, Nicolas Appert of France is credited with the discovery of canning; The ability to preserve food in heated and sealed containers, to give food a shelf life, and be able to store for long periods of time. While it took fifty years, to discover exactly WHY this method worked.. in 1810,

Peter Durand in England patented the use of sealed tin-coated iron cans for canned food. By 1820, he was supplying England’s royal navy with canned food for longer journeys. Soon after that, canned food and its methods reached America and began to have a regular presence in American kitchens.

In the 1950s the canned food hit its peak, in the ’60s and ’70s, there was a rise in the desire for fresh and local food. There are a few common themes inside of Farm to table/fork, one of which, is sustainability. Farm to table concept supports being able to grow food in such a sustainable way, that those same resources are available for future generations.

In today’s constant accessibility and sharing of information.. Farm to table is a label that can show an establishment’s support of local farmers and use of fresh in-season food. They're supporting local farmers and creating a shorter path between the ground the food comes from and the moment that first bite is on the fork.

On a more home front.. backyard and window sill gardens have become more popular as well.. more people are learning how to even grow their own veggies in their back yards and can even can/preserve their own produce at home. From a large scale of farm to restaurant table to backyard garden to home dinner table.. Farm to table is a consistent theme in everyday food. From the industrial revolution to the consequent presence in our homes, Farm to table is constantly moving forward, especially in a way that makes for a healthier way to eat, out and at home. Have an awesome week!

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