March 6, 2018, 10:06 a.m.
Farm to table experiences are becoming more and more common in the dining world. This means more farms, more great food, and more money staying local. Farms can be listed on menus, website, or boards inside the restaurant but they aren't always. If you don't see the farm is it OK to ask what farm the foods came from?
The short answer is, YES! It's great to ask where the farm is and who the grower is. Most of the chefs that we know are darn proud of who they're growers are and why they specifically chose that grower or farmer. The ways in which one farmer will grow their livestock versus another can change the flavor of the meat.
The type of soil that vegetables are grown in can off variations on the their final flavor. Chefs never mind talking (if they have time!) about the ingredients they've chosen, why, and what those dishes mean to them. It's more than cooking, it's art.
The term farm to table has been thrown around as a buzz term in the last few years. Lots of places tout that their food comes from farms instead of factories. But that doesn't mean local and it certainly doesn't equate to fresh. The chain Chipotle often says that the food is farm fresh and that they source locally "when possible".
Truth is, lots of their food comes from a pair of processing plants in the Chicago area. But there isn't a way to police what people are saying and it becomes more about marketing and less about truth.
Ask away. If there is any question worthy of asking is where your food comes from. The food you eat plays such an important role in our health, attitude, and community. As they say, you are what you eat.