What Does It Mean To Be “Farm-To-Table?”
You’ve probably heard the term “farm-to-table” used once or twice (heck – we’ve used it a bunch of times when talking about our products). But what, exactly, does this term mean and, more importantly, why should you care? The truth is, it can mean different things to different people, and as such, can sometimes be confusing. To clarify things, here’s a simple explanation of what the farm-to-table movement is means to us and how it can benefit your family.
First, let us clarify that in its purest form, farm-to-table refers to food that is literally being brought directly from the fields just after harvesting into the home to be prepared and eaten. It could also apply to things like farmers markets. Obviously, if you do not live on or within close proximity of a working farm or your local farmers market is out of season, this isn’t something you will always be able to take advantage of. That’s why the term has been adapted to a certain degree.
Another common use of the farm-to-table concept is with restaurants. This emphasizes the direct relationship that exists between local farmers and restaurants. Instead of purchasing ingredients from a food distributor, for example, many restaurant owners are now working with and buying directly from local or regional farms. Locally sourced produce and meats are tastier, which is better for the restaurant guests and since these relationships support local farms, they also bring economic benefits to local communities.
Restaurants, however, just like everyday consumers, face certain restraints when offering farm-to-table plates, particularly those located in regions where agricultural production is limited by season. Unlike California, where farms are able to produce crops year-round, most of the nation faces downtime in crop production during certain times of the year. As a result, many restaurants are only able to offer farm-to-table menu options for an average of about 20 weeks per year, when they are able to source locally.
At Hanover Foods, we use the concept of farm-to-table in terms of our relationships with local and regional farmers and the methods with which we prepare and package our products. For instance, our corn is picked, flash frozen and packaged to seal in its freshness and nutrients. Not only do our frozen vegetables stay as flavorful as if they were just harvested, but they make a wider selection of veggies available year-round without the need to visit a local farmers market.
Additionally, as consumer awareness about things like pesticide use, antibiotics in meat production, animal welfare and other food production practices, interest in and demand for fresh, cruelty-free and locally sourced ingredients continues to rise. As an answer to this demand, Hanover Foods continues to add certified organic options to our line of canned and frozen vegetable products. We also pride ourselves on transparency and strongly value the relationships we’ve built with trusted local and regional farmers over the years.
Simply put, if you are interested in farm-to-table, but aren’t in the position to take advantage of such options, our product line offers a convenient alternative. To learn more about the products we offer, please click here or get in touch directly!